Actor Paul Reubens – better known to fans as Pee-wee Herman – has big plans for 2014, and if you’ve found yourself missing Pee-wee and his bowtie, today’s news should make you happy.
The actor, who’s been talking about his role as the voice of Jokey Smurf in the The Smurfs 2, has big plans for resurrecting the character that made him famous, including an update on a new film and a television series he hopes to have up and running in 2014.
The new movie has been gestating for nearly three years now – but Reubens reports they finally have a director. The catch is that the actor won’t reveal who will be helming the feature, which will be produced by Judd Apatow. Reubens does tell the L.A. Times that it will shoot sometime next year and will be in the vein of his of much-loved Pee-wee’s Playhouse.
The feature film isn’t the only iron the actor has in the fire – he’s also developing a television series, but he was coy about the details of that as well. The new show won’t necessarily be a revival of Playhouse (which made a comeback as a stage show back in 2010), but Reubens reveals an official announcement is “imminent” and that the show will be on the air next year.
In the meantime, the actor is busy campaigning for a bigger part for Jokey Smurf in a third Smurfs film, but understands there’s a potential hurdle for the character to overcome in a post-9/11 world.
“I can’t figure out why there isn’t more Jokey Smurf. My theory is that it’s because of the times. Jokey Smurf in the cartoon would carry around a package that was a bomb. He’d give it to other Smurfs as a present and then it would blow up. He’s a victim of the times.”
Being a victim of the times is something Reubens knows all too well – his Pee-wee career derailed after an arrest in a Sarasota, Florida adult theater back in 1991, but now, roughly two decades later, the actor appears set to rebuild his brand.
“It feels great. I woke up one day and said it’s time. This is what I want to do next.”