Following in the footsteps of the cult favorite television series Arrested Development, which got a fourth season that debuted on Netflix last year, it was reported that the streaming service would be resurrecting David Wain and Michael Showalter’s cult film, Wet Hot American Summer. The 10-episode season will act as a prequel to the original movie and will be executive produced by Wain and Showalter, who are also planning to return as writers.
Wet Hot American Summer starred a laundry list of well-known comedy actors and actresses: Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Janeane Garofalo, Michael Ian Black, Molly Shannon, Bradley Cooper, and Christopher Meloni (just to name a few). Much of the original cast - though no one has officially confirmed - will be returning to play their characters despite many of them being twice the age of a typical high schooler.
In an interview with CraveOnline to promote They Came Together, Michael Showalter's recent film with Wain, Showalter revealed new plot details for the Wet Hot American Summer prequel series and confirmed the return of most of the original cast members. Showalter said they wouldn’t have moved forward on the television show if the cast wasn’t interested in returning.
Read Showalter’s full quote.
We wouldn’t have wanted to do it if we couldn’t get everybody. So we did our due diligence before the fact and everyone wants to do it...At this point it’s just a scheduling thing.
When the prequel series with Netflix was first announced, it was reported that the actors would each shoot their scenes in just a few days, similar to the production style of Arrested Development’s season 4. Given the busy TV and film schedules of many cast members, scheduling may prove to be one of the trickiest aspects of the Wet Hot American Summer prequel.
Showalter also revealed that he and Wain don’t have a complete script for the show yet, but they have an outline. According to Showalter, the entire 10-episode season will take place over the course of the first day of camp in 1981 - mirroring the film, which detailed the events of the final day of camp. The season will also include flashbacks of the characters in the previous year.
However, Showalter said he and Wain are more concerned with telling another great story with these characters than creating a prequel that will gel perfectly with the original film.
Read Showalter’s full quote:
We’re not going to try to make everything make sense. There will be some of that but we’re not trying to do a really intricate story. It’s more just an opportunity to bring the cast back together and tell more stories about these camp kids.
Fans of Wet Hot American Summer may be split on Showalter’s plans to focus on an entirely new story, regardless of how well it ties into the film. On one hand, Wet Hot American Summer is a cult classic and many fans have speculated about what events throughout the summer led to those that took place during the movie.
On the other hand, Showalter and Wain shouldn’t have to be confined to telling stories that directly tie into Wet Hot American Summer — it gives them more freedom to create something original with these beloved characters without dragging the story down in continuity.
Additionally, other aspects of the prequel series might cause concern for fans, specifically the actors’ schedules and the season taking place over the course of one day. Though season 4 of Arrested Development was generally well-received, one of the major complaints was the disjointedness between episodes as many the characters didn't appear for much of the season. Whether the Wet Hot American Summer prequel will receive the same complaints will be down to Showalter and Wain’s script.
At this point, it’s hard to predict how successful the Wet Hot American Summer prequel series will be since Wain and Showalter have yet to pen the script, but their experience with writing smart comedies should give fans hope for the best.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more news on the Wet Hot American Summer series as it develops.