Ernest P. Worrell is getting the reboot treatment. Yes, really. Out of all the characters, I figured this one was done. I just… wow.
The Ernest character was invented by Jim Varney and John Cherry as a pitchman for various products and services during the 1980s. Ernest became such a fixture that he transitioned to the big screen with ERNEST GOES TO CAMP in 1987. Though interest in the series eventually declined, there were a total of nine ERNEST features between 1987 and 1998. A Saturday morning kid’s show, HEY, VERN! IT’S ERNEST! ran on CBS in 1988.
It looked as though the character was done for good. Varney passed away in 2000, and even before that Varney seemed to be creating more distance from the character. He appeared in different projects such as THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES and TOY STORY.
But now, Variety is reporting that Cherry is hoping to develop SON OF ERNEST with Clarke Gallivan and Coke Sams of Ruckusfilms. As the title suggests, the film would focus on Ernest’s long-lost son.
The screenplay is being written by Dan Ewen, whose other projects in the works include PLAYING WITH FIRE and DEAR SATAN. I can’t help note some sort of irony there.
“We plan to honor the originals and Jim Varney while birthing a new chapter that lies somewhere between not sucking and Earth-shatteringly funny,” Ewen said.
Okay, but will people want to see it? This is not the first time an iconic character has been revamped. Remember SON OF THE MASK or SON OF THE PINK PANTHER? Not many do.
The producers are reportedly in early discussions with people to cast the title character.