Wet Hot American Summer, the 2001 film starring Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd, is about to get its own prequel. Said project is Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, which takes the form of eight half hour episodes which will be released exclusively on Netflix.
The original film was set on the last day of summer at Camp Firewood so, as the Netflix series’ title suggests, First Day of Camp will focus on the beginning of that summer instead. A trailer for the show has already been unveiled, along with a fictional promotional video for Camp Firewood. Now, a second “Welcome to Camp Firewood” video has released, with this preview focused on introducing the camp’s counselors.
The original Wet Hot American Summer movie cast reunited for the Netflix series, including Cooper, Poehelr and Rudd, as well as Elizabeth Banks, Michael Ian Black, Ken Marino, Christopher Meloni, Marguerite Moreau. Newcomers to Camp Firewood include Kristen Wiig, John Hamm and Randall Park. The script comes from the original film’s writers David Wain and Michael Showalter, with Wain directing.
The previously released full-length First Day of Camp trailer gave us a good look at what to expect from the show (plenty of sexual innuendo and Cooper in spandex), but it’s these short little teasers in the form of promotional videos that really set the scene well. As was the case with the previous “Welcome to Camp Firewood” trailer, this “Meet the Counselors” video pays homage to the 1981 setting for the show, including grainy video footage that cuts in and out and the eighties electronic backing track that every video around that time always seemed to have.
The latest First Day of Camp preview also holds that slightly creepy vibe, especially when Jason Schwartzman’s character, Greg, implores those watching “Please, don’t be afraid of me. I’m a good guy.” Marguerite Moreau, as Katie, is clearly trying to be down with the kids and the video also appears to be touting Andy (Paul Rudd) as the camp stud, in keeping with his appearance in the original movie (and his attempt at a cool entrance on a motorcycle in the full length trailer).
These “promotional videos” are certainly serving the show well, generating plenty of interest ahead of Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’s release. They like to poke fun at themselves, and Showalter has already stated that they are “not going to try and make everything make sense,” which is just as well, since this prequel has been made fourteen years after the original movie, and the age range of the cast is not exactly fitting for camp counselors.
Though the original Wet Hot American Summer movie didn’t do well in its theatrical run, many have since come to appreciate Wain and Showalters film for its comedic excellence, which is definitely an acquired taste. The film has gained a lot of notoriety since its initial release (as have many of the stars featured), meaning First Day of Camp could well turn out to be a big hit for Netflix this summer.
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp will be premiere on Netflix on July 31st, 2015.