Paul Reubens wants to make a dark Pee-wee Herman movie. If and when he returns in The Pee-wee Herman Story, Pee-wee will be sent to a mental hospital, where he will receive shock therapy for his alcoholism.
THR revealed the actor wants to make a film called Pee-wee Herman Story. The script, which he’s been working on since the ’90s, follows Pee-wee as he gets out of prison and becomes an unexpected yodeling star, only to move to Hollywood, start a movie career, and develop a pill and alcohol addiction in what Reubens calls “the Valley of the Dolls Pee-wee movie”. However, Netflix head Ted Sarandos and Apatow have already passed on the project, with the former allegedly arguing it “doesn’t check off all the boxes” for a Pee-wee movie, according to THR‘s sources.
Rebuens believes he can produce Pee-wee Herman Story for $15 million (complete with de-aging CGI on him as Pee-wee), which would be half the budget of Pee-wee’s Big Holiday. He’s yet to lock down a director for the project, but has apparently attracted the attention of none other than the Safdie Brothers. The filmmaking duo are coming off their critically-acclaimed success with Uncut Gems (which is easily their highest-grossing movie to date) and are said to be “considering” the idea. In the meantime, THR‘s sources claim Reubens has already found a backer in the UK willing to pay for $10 million of the proposed budget (something Reubens wouldn’t confirm during their interview).
Reubens hosted the Pee Wee’s Playhouse comedy show in the late 1980s, as the show spanned five seasons. The show won a number of daytime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Graphics and Title Design, Outstanding Hairstyling and Outstanding Makeup. Years after its release, the show would rank in the top 10 of TV Guide‘s Top Cult Shows Ever. The show was sparked by the cult success of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, which hit the big screen in 1985, just a year before the premiere of Pee-wee’s Playhouse. The film was one of the first hits for director Tim Burton, and it currently holds an 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Other films, such as Big Top Pee-wee and Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, followed.
The Pee-wee Herman Story does not have a release date.