Ruckusfilm is launching a reboot of Jim Varney’s Ernest P. Worrell character in “Son of Ernest.”
Ruckusfilm’s Clarke Gallivan and Coke Sams will produce alongside John Cherry — who created the original character while part of the ad agency Carden and Cherry.
Varney’s character, always wearing a baseball cap and denim, first appeared in commercials during the early 1980s with the trademark phrase “Know what I mean?” Varney, who usually spoke to an unseen character named Vern, starred in nine features between 1987 and 1998, most directed by Cherry. Varney died in 2000.
Dan Ewen has been tapped to pen the screenplay and will also produce. Plot details are under wraps other than centering on Worrell’s long-lost son, with early discussions under way to cast the character.
“Ernest was this plucky little engine that could — against all odds,” Ewen adds. “Ernest struck a nerve, one we’re going to revisit. We plan to honor the originals and Jim Varney while birthing a new chapter that lies somewhere between not sucking and Earth-shatteringly funny.”
Ewen’s “Dear Satan” is set up at Fox for the Farrelly brothers and his family comedy “Playing With Fire” is being produced by Todd Garner and Sean Robins at Broken Road Prods.
Ewen is repped by APA and DMF Law and is managed by Christopher Pratt.