For my money, 1985’s “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” remains one of the funniest, most endearing depictions of childhood silliness ever captured on camera. Now, the man with the high-pitched laugh and bowtie is finally back – and dishing exclusive details on his recently-completed screenplay for “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse: The Movie.”
“Boy, I sure hope [it gets made]. Yeah, we’re going to [do it],” explained an energetic (is there any other kind?) Pee-Wee Herman when I interviewed him in character on Monday. “I’m going to make a movie based on my kids show. Based on ‘Pee Wee’s Playhouse.’”
Over the last few years, fans of veteran funnyman Paul Reubens have heard rumblings that he was feeling out the studios to see if they’d be willing to bring the world’s oldest little boy back to the big-screen for a third movie following Tim Burton’s “Adventure” and the 1988 spiritual sequel “Big Top Pee-wee.” Rumors were that he had two competing ideas: A darker adult one he’d call “The Pee-wee Herman Story” or a PG-friendly one based on his classic Saturday morning show. Well, the second idea won out – and now, the script is finished.
“It’s already done, the script is already fully written; It’s ready to shoot,” explained Pee-wee in his trademark style. “It’s ready to shoot tomorrow. Oh wait, not tomorrow! I’m not available tomorrow. I had a conflict, forgot.”
These days, Pee-wee is actually quite busy putting the final touches on “The Pee-wee Herman Show,” a live multimedia stage production that runs at L.A.’s Club Nokia for several weeks beginning January 12th. If those dates go well, Reubens hopes it will show Hollywood that moviegoers would pay to see a “Playhouse” flick that would have Pee-wee and such old friends as Jambi the genie and Magic Screen leaving the playhouse after one of their own goes missing.
“[Will we be] going out into the real world in the movie?” Pee-wee explained, answering a question about the script. “It’s not really the real world, it’s Puppetland. On ‘Pee Wee’s Playhouse,’ on the television series we never left the playhouse, we were always inside the playhouse.”
“The movie is all out of the playhouse,” he revealed. “There are two scenes in the playhouse, but the rest is out of the playhouse.”
Once out in Puppetland, Pee-wee said, the group will encounter all sorts of eccentric new characters. “Yeah,” he said of new friends, who could possibly be created via Claymation, a la Penny or Large Marge or the food often glimpsed in Pee-Wee’s fridge back in the day. “But I can’t really tell anything about the movie at this time; it’s pretty much top-secret in Hollywood.”
So, if Pee-wee’s stage show goes well, keep your ears out for more news on “Pee-wee’s Playhouse: The Movie.” “It’s a catchy title,” he said with a grin. “It was catchier than ‘Dukes of Hazzard: The Movie.’ Plus, that was already taken.”
Are you eager to see Pee-wee on the big-screen again?