Death proves no obstacle to Ernest riding again

Death proves no obstacle to Ernest riding again

Having been to camps and jails and school, survived being scared stupid and slam dunked, and saved Christmas, the odyssey of Ernest came to an end around the year 2000, when Ernest was at last laid to rest alongside his portrayer, Jim Varney. But having overcome so much armed with nothing but slapstick and a little country gumption, death is but a door to fall ass-backwards through for Ernest—particularly when there is franchise money to be made—and so the advertising executive who first created the character is bringing the general idea of Ernest back for a new movie. Writer Dan Ewen has been hired to pen a screenplay, saying, "Ernest was this plucky little engine that could—against all odds," a determination that will become even more evident in what's being called Son Of Ernest, the forthcoming film in which we learn that, in between his misadventures, Ernest's plucky little engine found itself into some willing station long enough to father a child. Though a sort of contrived and unlikely scenario, it's at least less depressing then the alternative of the ghostly, silent "Vern" wandering lonely through the wilderness, wishing every moment that someone would come and ask him if he knows what they mean. ("I don't know what anything means anymore," Vern whispers, to no one.)