Pee-wee Herman might return in a dark, tragic film featuring some high-profile directors


Sometimes there are things that you didn’t know you needed until they smack you in the face. Add to that list “a Pee-wee Herman film with a dark and tragic edge.” Oh, and it’s directed by the Safdie Brothers.

An extended piece with Paul Reubens at The Hollywood Reporter broached the subject of revisiting the comic’s iconic character for a new film. But things might not be so big and bright for Mr Herman this time around. 

“I’ve referred to it as the Valley of the Dolls Pee-wee movie,” Reubens says, dead serious. “It’s about fame.”

Reubens envisions a Pee-wee film in which everyone’s favorite magic-enthusiast emerges from prison (on what grounds, it’s anyone’s morbid guess) to find himself in a position as “an unlikely yodeling star.” Following that, Pee-wee would take to Hollywood, where the fame would degenerate him into a “monster” hounded by pill and alcohol addiction. The full profile can be read over at The Hollywood Reporter. It should be read.

The strange stew gets even murkier when the subject of this “edgy Pee-wee film” turns to its would-be directors. Reubens has apparently approached Josh and Benny Safdie, the co-directing duo behind Daddy Long Legs, Good Time, and this year’s tremendous Uncut Gems. Perhaps high-anxiety stress nightmare the likes of which viewers can find in any of the Safdie’s gritty New York films isn’t too far from, say, Large Marge. 

It’s the sort of speculation you couldn’t dream up if you wanted to.

When we last left Pee-wee in 2016’s Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, things were mostly ho-hum for the titular man child. Big Holiday didn’t set the world on fire with its Netflix release, and the legacy would seem to have been behind us.

As such, the likelihood of such a bizarre continuation of the Pee-wee Herman saga seems far-fetched. Now. Years from now we could look back and say “Hey, remember when we first heard about The Rise and Fall of Pee-wee Herman (speculative title)? Couldn’t believe what I was reading…” 

For anything Pee-wee Herman, stay tuned.

Pee-wee Herman’s “Dark” Reboot: Paul Reubens Is Ready to Stage a Comeback [The Hollywood Reporter]