Netflix announces ‘Pee-wee’s Big Holiday,’ with Judd Apatow producing

Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman on Dec. 7, 2009.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

It’s official: Pee-wee is back for another big adventure.

Netflix will distribute “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday,” a new movie starring Paul Reubens as the quirky 1980s stage and screen character Pee-wee Herman, the streaming company announced Tuesday.

Confirming a wave of recent reports, Netflix said “Big Holiday” will be produced by Reubens and Judd Apatow, who have been developing the film since 2010, with a script by Reubens and Paul Rust (“Comedy Bang Bang,” “Arrested Development”).

John Lee (“Broad City,” “Inside Amy Schumer”) will make his feature-directing debut on the film, with production scheduled to start in March.


Described as an “epic story of friendship and destiny,” the new movie involves a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger that sends Pee-wee to take his first-ever holiday.

Reubens first created the character of Pee-wee -- a fun-loving, shrunken-suited, rubber-faced man-child of indeterminate age and occupation -- while a member of the Los Angeles improv group the Groundlings. He brought the character to the big screen in 1985’s “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” and 1988’s “Big Top Pee-wee,” and to television in the Emmy Award-winning series “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.”

Reubens and his character dropped out of the public eye after he was busted for indecent exposure at a Florida adult movie theater in 1991, only to emerge nearly two decades later with an update of the stage production, “The Pee-wee Herman Show.”

Netflix, which will exclusively premiere “Big Adventure” in all its territories, has been making a push into original feature films of late. The company will release “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Legend” with the Weinstein Co. later this year and also has deals with Adam Sandler and the Duplass Brothers to produce and distribute new movies.

In a statement about “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday,” Reubens said, “Judd and I dreamt up this movie four years ago. The world was much different back then -- Netflix was waiting by the mailbox for red envelopes to arrive. I’ve changed all that. The future is here. Get used to it. Bowtie is the new black.”

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