Pee-Wee Herman made a welcome return to the stage in The Pee–wee Herman Show on Broadway, winning over critics and fans alike. This reignited plans to make the long-gestating feature length follow-up to 1988s Big-Top Pee-wee, with Judd Apatow producing. Since initially announced a year ago, the script has underwent numerous revisions and now it seems they are ready to start shooting soon (although we have been hearing that they have been ready to start shooting throughout the year, so we remain slightly skeptical). One thing is a dead certain however – the Pee-Wee Herman movie will be a Netflix production; with exclusivity most likely being confined to the streaming service.
The Wrap reported that an unnamed source has said that the film, which is being produced by Apatow’s company (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Freaks and Geeks), has moved from Universal to Netflix, and that the film – written by Reubens and Paul Rust – could start shooting as early as February 2015. This piece of news is fitting, given that Reubens announced a couple of months back that:
“we now have such an amazing company involved, and that’s the really big announcement that hasn’t been made yet.”
Obviously Reuben’s was referring to Netflix, however, there have been no announcements on who is set to direct, and the story has been kept firmly under wraps. But, with the revelation that the film has found a new home at Netflix, and the talk of shooting getting underway in February, expect to hear a lot more news on the movie in the upcoming weeks.
Netflix has become an increasingly popular platform for filmmakers and projects that can’t necessarily find the support they need from traditional studios (the new Pee-Wee film was initially planned to be produced and distributed by Universal). Moreover, the company announced earlier this year (round about the time they announced their planned a five-movie deal with Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company), that the are planning to concentrate more on original programming, as opposed to paying licensing fees for streaming other companies content, and it makes sense thinking about it in a monetary aspect. Thusly, the first original film they plan to release will be a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which will be released both, online and in Imax complexes (although this has caused some uproar amongst theatre owners, who are consequently refusing to play the film outright.
Also, as far as creative freedom is concerned, it is becoming far more desirable for TV and Film productions to seek a home on one of the big streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu), as there is more room for originality and Episodic shows and Film can be just as big: featuring high-quality productions in the same vein as contemporary shows on networks such as HBO. Basically, it looks like Netflix is gradually making the transition from “paid media,” to “owned media”. Personally I think, the bigger the competition between the streaming services, the more beneficial it will become for subscribers – as the quality of original content will – not only be more frequent, but will keep getting better.
Whether Pee-Wee‘s new adventure will be an online-only feature, or whether Netflix are planning a multiple platform release remains to be seen. However, here’s hoping Pee-Wee doesn’t manage to lose his bike this time round…
Are you looking forward to seeing another Pee-Wee Herman adventure folks? What do you think about the idea of streaming services offering more original content? Good value for your buck?
Via – Film