Ah, the Griswolds. From the spate of ’80s comedies, no family is more memorable than the clan headed up by Chevy Chase in four films that saw them heading to Europe, Vegas and spending the holidays together in their uniquely dysfunctional way. The franchise has been quiet ever since the 1997 entry “Vegas Vacation” but early in 2010 it kicked back to life. It was reported that Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley — whose Black List script “Horrible Bosses” is now in theaters — were tapped to write a reboot, produced by David Dobkin (“Wedding Crashers,” “The Change-Up“) that would focus on Rusty Griswold (played by Anthony Michael Hall, Johnny Galecki and Ethan Embry in the three different franchise films) with vibe said to be more in the vein of “Planes, Trains And Automobiles” than its predecessors. Well, development has been ongoing on the first name of a potential director has leaked out and…its pretty uninspired.
According to 24 Frames, Pete Segal, the man who brought us “Get Smart,” guilty pleasure “Tommy Boy” and forgettable Adam Sandler fare like “50 First Dates,” “Anger Management” and “The Longest Yard” is in the mix to direct. But don’t be too worried, because that’s not the only name we’ve heard bandied about. The very hot “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig has been mentioned below the radar and though we’ve inquired and were told though he has no involvement, we wouldn’t be surprised if he is at least on a wishlist of potential directors or has received the script. Also remember that last month, Feig hinted he may be rebooting a comedy franchise but didn’t say it by name. Hmm…
Speaking with Collider recently, Dobkin was enthusiastic about the project saying the script is in great shape and that the bawdy tone of the Chase films is what endeared him to working on the reboot. “Oh my God dude, this script came out so good it’s crazy. It’s not a total reboot by the way, it’s a reboot of the franchise but it’s Rusty’s story. It’s not trying to start again from zero,” he said.
“Look one of the things I love about the original movie is comedies overall do not stand up over time, the sense of comedy changes in each generation, but Vacation is still as shocking and as funny as it was when it was made,” Dobkin elaborated. “There’s stuff in that movie that you would think was insane today: “Daddy taught me how to French kiss,” I mean there’s just things that are insane, it’s off its head. So that’s why I went for it, cause I really loved it and I just love the themes of that movie.”
And Goldstein, one of the co-scribes of the film, feels that the approach of keeping the spirit of the earlier films, while not necessarily doing them over, allowed him to take on the project with a clear conscience. “There’s a trend to remake movies that shouldn’t be remade, at least not yet,” the writer told 24 Frames. “If this were a straight remake, we’d be hesitant. But we think this is fair game. It’s characters people like. We’re just advancing the story.”
A second draft of the script is now finished, and a director is being sought so we expect a few more names to start being buzzed. New Line wants this one rolling soon, so while it’s been over a decade since we last had a trip with the Griswolds, a new vacation may be just around the corner.