New Line Cinema’s Vacation franchise reboot hit a few bumps last year, as studio heads and the filmmakers on the project butted heads over whether the movie ought to be a more family-friendly PG-13 affair or a We’re the Millers-style adult comedy offering. We’ll have to wait and see which side won out, but for now production on the movie is underway – with Beverly D’Angelo and Chevy Chase even reprising their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold from the Vacation comedies of the 1980s and ’90s.
The 21st-century Vacation marks the directorial debut of John Francis Daley (a.k.a. Dr. Lance Sweets on Bones) and Jonathan M. Goldstein. The pair have co-written recent comedies like Horrible Bosses and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, as well as the 3D animated sequel Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – movies that have certainly varied in quality, but have by and large done pretty well at the box office (well, not so much Burt Wonderstone).
Here’s a synopsis for the Vacation franchise requel (re: rebooting sequel):
Following in his father’s footsteps and hoping for some much-needed family bonding, a grown-up Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) surprises his wife, Debbie (Christina Applegate), and their two sons with a cross-country trip back to America’s “favorite family fun park,” Walley World.
Variety is reporting that Leslie Mann – perhaps best known for her collaborations with husband Judd Apatow – has joined the Vacation reboot cast. She’ll be playing Audrey Griswold, who’s been brought to life – as a teenager that is – in the past by such folk as Dana Barron (in the original 1983 Vacation series installment) and a 16-year old Juliette Lewis in 1989’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Mann’s role, similar to Chase and D’Angelo’s appearance in the Vacation series reboot, may not amount to much more than a glorified cameo… but we’ll see.
Other Vacation reboot cast members include Skylar Gisondo (Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb) and Steele Stebbins (A Haunted House 2) as the grown-up Rusty’s son in the film. Meanwhile, the God of Thunder himself, Chris Hemsworth, will be showing up as Stone Crandall, Rusty’s “irritatingly successful” brother-in-law; and Charlie Day, who worked with Daley and Golstein on Horrible Bosses, will show up as a guide who takes the Griswold clan on a river rafting adventure – no doubt, one that goes (comically) wrong.
Vacation (1983) was scripted by the late John Hughes and directed by actor/filmmaker Harold Ramis, who only passed away earlier this year. The duo blended irreverence with heart in a way that, combined with Chase’s performance as the high-spirited (if dim-witted) Clark, helped kickoff an uneven, but memorable comedy franchise. As the reboot doesn’t have such a dream team of talent working behind the scenes, it might be best to adjust your expectations accordingly.
Vacation doesn’t currently have an official release date; we’ll let you know when it does.