The National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise retains a soft spot in the American heart, surviving years of shitty straight-to-video downgrades and the slow unraveling of Randy Quaid thanks to a permanent place in the Valhalla of basic cable. So it’s little wonder that in our culture’s own cramped cross-country ride to revisit familiar landmarks—and occasionally destroy them with our bungling—there’s talk of reviving Vacation with a new film focusing on a grown-up Rusty Griswold, the son whose constant shape-shifting throughout the series makes him a cipher all the easier to reimagine. According to the L.A. Times, Pete Segal, the filmmaker who’s carved out a questionable niche remaking old comedies like Get Smart and The Longest Yard, is reportedly in talks to direct just such an update from a script by Horrible Bosses screenwriters Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, who say that they’ve recently completed a second draft for New Line.
They don’t share too many other details, but if it’s the same premise as the sequel announced back in 2009 (and it probably is), the new Vacation will focus on Rusty taking his own family on a trail of tears and piss-soaked sandwiches to Wally World one last time. The connections to the first film don’t end there, obviously: Daley and Goldstein say they hope to have Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo reprise their roles for a cameo (though unless the Griswolds take a wrong turn and end up in Toronto, we wouldn’t hold your breath for Cousin Eddie), and they’ve modeled their adult Rusty explicitly after Chase’s Clark Griswold. Of course, at this early stage, there’s still no talk of who they might get to play him. We’re guessing that the intense, late-model Anthony Michael Hall is out, as Daley and Goldstein are aiming for “an everyman, goodhearted, maybe a little bit of a doofus” vibe, and Hall would likely leave audiences perpetually on edge, afraid he’s going to snap and butcher his kids. (Although that, at least, would be something new.)
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