It looks like Ed Helms is going on a vacation. The Hangover star is in negotiations to take the role of Rusty Griswold in New Line’s sequel/reboot of the Vacation franchise.
The Vacation series started in 1983 with National Lampoon’s Vacation, which was based on John Hughes’ autobiographical story, Vacation 58. The Harold Ramis film starred Chevy Chase as the hapless Clark Griswold, who attempted to take his family across America to the Wally World theme park – however, things failed to go as planned.
Vacation was a huge success, grossing $61 million at the domestic box office. The 1985 sequel, European Vacation saw (as the title suggests) the family go to Europe. That film grossed $49 million domestically and the third (and highest-grossing) instalment, a Christmas-themed effort, banked $71 million in 1989. The series ended in 1997 with the lackluster Vegas Vacation, which grossed a disappointing $36 million. This new adventure will focus on Clark’s grown-up son as he attempts to take his family on Vacation (apparently returning to Wally World).
Each film in the series is notable for having different actors play the Griswold offspring, Rusty and Audrey – a theme that this new film seems to be riffing on. It is expected (although, there is no confirmation) that Chevy Chase will return to the role of Clark Griswold, and that Beverly D'Angelo will again reprise her role of his long-suffering wife, Ellen. However, Chase has let it be known that he always wanted to take Clark out on the road one last time for a Vacation film which he developed with D'Angelo. That now looks unlikely.
Helms is a decent choice for the role, however it will be difficult to replace Chevy Chase in the lead. The Clark Griswold series is Chase’s signature role (along with Fletch), and I would hate to see the Community actor appear alongside D’Angelo in a mere cameo, before Helms revs-up the station wagon to take the family on the road. Now, I would be willing to go on Vacation if Rusty decides to take his parents along for the ride. Time will tell.
David Dobkin will produce Vacation, with both John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Horrible Bosses) handling double duty as writer and director. The film is expected to start shooting next spring once Helms completes work on The Office and The Hangover 3.
Keep reading Screen Rant for details on Vacation.