Netflix announced it will premiere “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday,” starring Paul Reubens as the odd and exuberant titular character, exclusively in all of its territories. No debut date is set, but production is slated to begin early this year.
The pic, originally in development at Universal, is being produced by Judd Apatow (“Anchorman,” “Bridesmaids”) and Reubens. “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” is helmed by John Lee (“Broad City,” “Inside Amy Schumer”), marking his feature-film directorial debut. Reubens and Paul Rust (“Arrested Development,” “Inglourious Basterds”) wrote the script.
In “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday,” a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger inspires Pee-wee to take his first-ever holiday in an “epic story of friendship and destiny,” per Netflix.
“We didn’t hesitate for a moment knowing that ‘Pee-wee’s Big Holiday’ was such a passion project for Paul and Judd and we are delighted by the opportunity to introduce such a beloved character to a new generation,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said.
Added Apatow, “As a fan of Pee-wee Herman since he first appeared on ‘The Dating Game,’ I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the brilliant Paul Reubens on this film. It is a dream come true.”
For Netflix, the deal adds another original movie to its quiver. Those include four movies from Adam Sandler and an agreement with Weinstein Co. and Imax to debut the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” simultaneously in theaters and on Netflix in August 2015. In addition, Netflix last month reached a deal with indie filmmakers and thesps Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass to produce four movies, and acquired worldwide rights to war thriller “Jadotville,” starring Jamie Dornan (“Fifty Shades of Grey”).
Reubens, 62, created the character when he was a member of L.A.’s The Groundlings improv group in the early ’80s.
Netflix currently streams a fire-hose of Pee-wee Herman classics, including: “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” “Big Top Pee-wee,” “The Pee-wee Herman Show,” and “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” seasons one and two.
“The Pee-wee Herman Show” premiered at the Groundlings Theatre on Feb. 7, 1981. HBO subsequently picked up the show, after which CBS aired “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” for a five-year run. The vocally unusual man-child character hit the silver screen in 1985’s “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” which was Tim Burton’s directorial debut.
In an infamous 1991 incident, Reubens was arrested for indecent exposure at a Florida movie theater. Since then, the thesp has starred in numerous film and TV roles, including “30 Rock,” “Pushing Daisies,” “Reno 911,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Murphy Brown” and NBC’s “The Blacklist.” His film credits include “Mystery Men”; “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”; “Blow”; David O. Russell’s “Nailed”; and Todd Solondz’s “Life During Wartime.”
Reubens is repped by WME, and Apatow is repped by UTA.