Paul Reubens’ other career, when he’s not Pee-wee Herman, is as a lucrative voiceover actor. His latest role is in the new Disney XD series “Tron Uprising.” Reubens was at a press junket this weekend discussing his role as Pavel, right hand man to the series’ main villain Tesler (Lance Henriksen.) That gave us a chance to get an update on the long awaited new Pee-wee Herman movie.
“We just did a very, very quick lean and mean rewrite of it and we have a meeting with Judd Apatow this coming week, five days from now [as of Saturday],” Reubens said. “I’m hoping we’re going into production soon after that. We’ve been sort of toying with talking a little bit about casting already so I’m excited to just be able to make a couple phone calls and ask people if they’d be in it.”
Pee-wee came back in a big way when Reubens revived “The Pee-wee Herman Show” on stage, ultimately taking it to Broadway and recording it for HBO. Apatow is producing the new movie, which will be the first new Pee Wee Herman story we’ve seen in the decades since “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” ended.
“It’s a character I’ve always loved so I can’t wait to put the shoes back on and get that suit back on very soon and do this movie that I love,” Reubens said. “It has such a funny script and such a weird twist to it all. There’s some really good detail to it.”
That’s about all the details we could get out of Reubens. The film could reunite Reubens with other Pee Wee collaborators like Danny Elfman, who wrote the score to both Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and Big Top Pee-wee. Reubens just assumes Elfman will do it.
“I shouldn’t say this because I haven’t talked to him about it. We talked recently but we haven’t talked about that for a long time. Also I’ve never made a movie with Judd so I don't know what Judd music-wise how he would feel, although I can’t imagine that Judd would be, ‘Danny? No.’ But Danny, I feel like we have an unspoken sort like ‘I’m I’m making a Pee Wee movie, you’re doing the music. Don’t make me point out that I started your career, okay?’ [Joking] That kind of thing. The answer is yes. I love Danny. Both scores that he’s done for me I think are incredibly overlooked. He should have been nominated for the first one I think although as you probably know it’s Nino Rotta’s score to 8 ½ really. Most people don’t know that.”
Those who have been following the Pee-wee saga all along know that Reubens has also long talked about a dark Pee-wee movie. The Apatow movie is said to be more of a light road movie, which makes sense for re-introducing audiences to Pee Wee Herman. In case you’re wondering, that dark Pee-wee script still exists.
“I have two other Pee-wee movie scripts. Hopefully the Judd movie will top all the Avengers records and then the other two will be no brainers. As is my fantasy, my phone will be ringing as I’m walking in the house months before I had even thought, ‘It’s time!’ Someone will be like, ‘Pee-wee, we’ve got to make the movie now. Let’s not wait.’”
We’ll bring you the full press junket roundtable interview with Reubens in our TV section.