For a while, New Line’s reboot/sequel to the famous National Lampoon’s Vacation series had been making good progress. First, the film cast rising star Ed Helms as Rusty Griswald, the son of Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswald from the original movies. Then it added Christina Applegate as Helms’ wife. Last we heard, both Chase and Beverly D’Angelo were in talks to reprise their roles as Rusty’s parents.
Now, however, all of that progress has come to a grinding halt. According to a new report, the film has stalled due to creative differences between the filmmakers and the studio.
The delay, first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, revolves primarily around what rating the film should be aiming for – an R rating to capture adult moviegoers or a broader PG-13 rating to bring in more family audiences. There are obvious advantages and disadvantages to both, which is why the studio has pushed back the movie temporarily while they sort out which option is best.
Interestingly, the previous films in the Vacation franchise have received the entire range of ratings. The first movie earned an R rating, but the next two films (European Vacation and Christmas Vacation) both received a PG-13. The most recent film in the franchise (Vegas Vacation) actually received a PG rating.
Some of the most successful comedies in recent memory have been R rated, including both movies in The Hangover franchise and Seth MacFarlane’s Ted, so there’s definitely a justifiable reason to ratchet up the raunchiness of the humor. However, the movie’s unique heritage also could justify the PG-13 rating.
Most of the adults going to see the new Vacation movie will have been children when they saw the first two films, so they may be looking at the new movie from a more nostalgic perspective. Maybe they’ll want to bring their families along with them to pass on the franchise to a new generation.
Personally, I’m inclined to believe that an R rating is the best option for the film. As previously mentioned, the most successful comedies in recent memory have been R rated, and there is precedent in the franchise for that kind of rating. When you make the decision to close off a huge portion of your potential audience, however, you’d better be able to put butts in seats, which means creating a truly hilarious movie.
Which direction do you think the film should ultimately go? And, if it does go R, are you confident that first-time directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (who also wrote the script) will be able to justify their rating with something that is genuinely funny?
We’ll keep you updated on the status of the Vacation reboot as news becomes available.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter