February 18, 2010

Does the American Pie franchise really need a reboot?

Apparently so...here's the piece in the LA Times that spells out the situation:

Break out the webcams and apple pie: The antics of Chuck, Stifler and the rest of the "American Pie" crew could be coming back to theaters.

Universal, which made and distributed the pop-phenomenon original, is developing a new version with an eye toward resetting the property as a theatrical franchise.

The studio is poised to bring on "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg to script a new take on the franchise, which is being described in the development community as "American Pie 4." The movie would come on the heels of the third theatrical movie in the franchise, "American Wedding," which came out in 2003, and a slew of lucrative DVD titles that followed.

The original "American Pie" was released in 1999 and became a cultural and commercial phenomenon, grossing more than $200 million worldwide and spawning a booming market for R-rated summer comedies. "American Pie 2" and "American Wedding" followed at two-year intervals.

A host of direct-to-DVD titles then followed "Wedding" under the banner of "American Pie Presents," including "Band Camp," "The Naked Mile," "Beta House" and, this past December, "The Book of Love." But the studio, sources say, hopes that the franchise could be ripe for a new theatrical run.Universal declined comment on the new project.

At least some of the original cast is interested in coming back for the new picture, though sources emphasized that development is early and there are no actor deals in place.

Seann William Scott, Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth and Alyson Hannigan were among the young comedic actors who got their break in the first film, which explored a group of high school seniors trying to lose their virginity before they left their adolescence behind.

How the characters would be worked into a new script remains a question; many, after all, are now in their late 20s and early 30s, and the original picture was set in high school. Writers would also need to contend with a world in which the novelty of the raunchy comedy, which was a relatively new form more than a decade ago, may have worn off with the success of movies like "The Hangover" and a spate of Judd Apatow films.

But the studio is clearly hoping that the awareness and fondness for the comedy brand could help support a new installment. Franchise reboots have become the latest vogue in Hollywood, even and especially for properties that haven't been away that long: Sony is rebooting "Spider-Man" just a few years after the webbed one last appeared on the big screen.

-I loved the 3 theatrical films, but even I'm not sure this is necessary...thoughts?


  1. Assuming this is going to happen and the original writer of the first three (Adam Herz) isn't going to be involved, the guys behind the Harold and Kumar films make a decent amount of sense for this project.

  2. I was a big fan of the first three so I'd be willing to give the new film a chance. While not necessary, I'm sure it will make a decent amount of money. All of those direct to DVD films do quite well just by attaching the American Pie name and most of the original cast could use the career boost. Aside from Seann William Scott, and Alyson Hannigan the rest haven't done alot in recent years.

  3. The irony is, of the reboots and sequels to sequels that are out there, this one annoys me the least. It's just that it seems no one has an original idea anymore. I'll definitely see this if it comes out though...

  4. I don't think it's a bad idea, but it's way too soon. The Spider-man reboot is too soon too. In my opinion, American Pie isn't the kind of series you reboot. I also agree that there is no originality anymore and we end up with so many similar movies. I feel like there can't be a popular movie without a sequel to follow. Do we really need a Paranormal Activity 2 or even a Hangover 2 (as much as I loved it)?

  5. I meant to write i don't think it is a bad idea financially but it's too soon. I think it's a bad idea and will ruin the first three. Sorry if I don't make any sense

  6. Well, time will tell. It's essentially just a fancy way (in this case) of saying it's a sequel meant to restart the franchise...

  7. I wouldn't say this is a reboot in the sense that Spiderman is, it seems as though it's more of a sequel that will possibly go in another direction than the other films. The only reason the word reboot is being tossed around is probably to distance themselves from the Direct to DVD films, and the fact that they are going to probably have to take a slightly different angle with the film as the characters are now in their 30's and so much time has elapsed since the last film.

  8. Indeed. Kind of what I just said, but good point...