Director David Wain’s 2001 film Wet Hot American Summer remains one of the funniest and weirdest comedies in recent memory, and though the film was a box office bomb, it later gained cult status on home video thanks to a number of its cast members eventually becoming huge stars—including Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, and Elizabeth Banks. The film revolved around the last day of camp at Camp Firewood, but Wain and co-writer Michael Showalter hit upon an absurdist tone for the comedy that resulted in a twisted, hilarious little movie.
Talk of a prequel to Wet Hot American Summer has been going on for years, and while most of the cast is game to return (playing even younger versions of their 10-years-ago selves), movement on the project has yet to materialize. Well now it appears that an alternate route for the Wet Hot American Summer follow-up is being considered, as Netflix is in talks to turn it into a TV series. Hit the jump for more on the Wet Hot American Summer TV show.
Per Variety, Netflix is in talks to produce a 10-episode prequel series for Wet Hot American Summer. Wain and Showalter would spearhead the project as executive producers, and the aim is to reunite as many original cast members as possible. While the ability to bring back Rudd, Poehler, Banks, Ken Marino, Christopher Meloni, Molly Shannon, Joe Lo Truglio, Janeane Garafalo, Michael Ian Black, David Hyde Pierce, and especially Cooper seems like a herculean task, it’s do-able thanks to a precedent set by the resurrection of Arrested Development.
The plan is to have each of the actors shoot their scenes for the 10-episode series in just a few days, since not every character will appear in ever episode. This is how the fourth season of Arrested Development was produced for Netflix, with many of the actors playing scenes opposite a stand-in while the other half of the scene was added in later.
This model actually fits Wet Hot American Summer even better than it did Arrested Development, since the film was mostly made up of various vignettes involving sub-sets of characters. A deal doesn’t appear to be finalized just yet, but Universal Pictures—the distributor of the film—is considering an option to come aboard the potential TV series.
As a huge fan of Wet Hot American Summer, this is great news. If it took this long for a sequel to Anchorman to get made, it seemed highly unlikely that a studio would be willing to put up the money for another Wet Hot American Summer movie. This TV series idea really feels like the best option.
Wain most recently directed the Rudd/Poehler comedy They Came Together, which opens this summer. If you’ve been itching to see the filmmaker return to something more in line with Wet Hot American Summer, be sure to catch this one. It’s fantastic.