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New Pee-Wee Herman Movie Gets a Director, Could Begin Filming in 2014

Pee-Wee Herman
Warner Bros.

Paging Mr. Herman. After toiling for years in various stages of development, it sounds like Pee-Wee Herman‘s next big-screen adventure is finally happening.

Speaking with the Los Angeles Times about his appearance in ‘Smurfs 2,’ Herman — a.k.a. Paul Reubens — teased some major progress on the Pee-Wee front. While admitting that we’ve been hearing a variation on this tune for the last three years, Times writer Steven Zeitchik revealed that “Reubens said he believes that the script is ready and financing has come together. The movie, he said, will likely shoot next year.”

The film, produced by Judd Apatow, has a director but Reubens wasn’t ready to reveal who would be directing the next Pee-Wee movie.

Reubens went on to tease a new television series, which would serve as “potentially though not necessarily an update” to the cult classic ‘Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,’ which won an assortment of Emmys during its five-season run (1986-90) as part of the CBS Saturday morning lineup. Though he refused to offer any concrete details, he did promise an “imminent” announcement and added, “Short of something unforeseen like the studio going out of business, I think it’s very likely both these projects will happen next year.”

Pee-Wee’s return would serve as the culmination of a long journey back to the spotlight for Reubens, who made his frantic, bow-tied creation a fixture on the airwaves (and in theaters) during the ’80s before retiring the character following his arrest for indecent exposure in 1991. ‘Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure,’ released in 1985, made nearly $41 million against a $7 million budget, spawning a sequel, 1988′s ‘Big Top Pee-Wee.’ Reubens has focused his efforts on reviving the character since 2009, when he started development on ‘The Pee-wee Herman Stage Show: The Return.’

“It feels great,” Reubens told the Times. “I woke up one day and said it’s time. This is what I want to do next.”

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