October 7, 2009 / by Blake Fehl
Don’t know where the interest of a Vacation sequel came from? Maybe it is the fact that John Hughes just died, so interest in the franchise just picked up again? Regardless, the series has already suffered through endless amounts of sequels. I’m not sure either a sequel or a remake at this juncture would be a good move. Remake is out, because there is no way you can make it as funny as the original. It is Chevy Chase’s best role to date, and the comedy still holds up too well today. The last few vacation sequels have been atrocious, there has even been a straight to television sequel starring Randy Quaid’s character from the originals.
New Line is going on a “Vacation.”
The Warner Bros. division is developing a sequel of sorts to the 1983 comedy classic, with David Dobkin attached to produce and possibly direct.
New Line is meeting with writers to write the script but the take is already developed: the story focuses on Rusty Griswold, the son of Clark Griswold, the protagonists of the initial movies and portrayed by Chevy Chase. The younger Griswold is now a father in his own right and takes his family on a road trip vacation.
The characters would acknowledge that first trip, making the movie more of a sequel than a reboot.
Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, who played the mom in the original movies, will have room to make appearances as grandparents, providing a sense of continuity, though no deals are in place.
The original “Vacation” is a Warner Bros. property but as soon as New Line became part of the studio, exec Sam Brown began sifting through the parent company’s titles to see what was available in terms of rights. He eventually found “Vacation,” a movie he has watched more than any other in his life, and brought it to New Line president Toby Emmerich and production president Richard Brener, who jumped at the possibilities. The duo asked Warner brass if it had any plans with the title. It did not and the New Line execs persuaded the brass to let them take a crack at it. Brown is shepherding for New Line.
National Lampoon is no involved at this stage, as Warners controls the characters and the title.
New Line is taking meetings with writers this week, hoping to make a movie that skews more towards “Planes Trains and Automobiles” or “Little Miss Sunshine” than “RV” or “Are We There Yet?”
“Vacation” brings CAA-repped Dobkin back in business with New Line, for whom he directed and produced “Wedding Crashers.”
Dobkin has only made one movie I liked, the popular Wedding Crashers. It is a guilty pleasure for me, a movie I can’t turn off when I see it on HBO. This just seems like a bad idea to me. It is obviously not creative talent that wants it made, but a studio exec who thought, “Well, there is a cash cow with rights we have available.” Have we not learned anything from the success of a movie like The Hangover? Audiences will go see something as long as it is fresh and funny.
Although, if Anthony Michael Hall signs on to reprise his role as Rusty, I might be a bit more inclined to like the project.