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A funny cast doesn't guarantee a funny movie, but it sure does help. In that respect, the reboot/remake of the classic 1980s comedy Vacation is headed in the right direction, as Leslie Mann is reportedly in talks to join previously cast Ed Helms and Christina Applegate. If all goes well, the This is 40 star would play Audrey Griswold. Chris Hemsworth and Charlie Day are also said to be in negotiations to board the series.
New Line's plans for the new Vacation film put the comedy somewhere between sequel and reboot, as the story will center on Rusty Griswold, son to Clark and Ellen, who's grown now and looking to take his own kids on a road trip, much in the way his own father took him, his sister and their mother on a road trip when he was younger. With Ed Helms on board to play Rusty, we were left to wonder who might play Audrey. THR reports that Leslie Mann is circling the role.
The film will have Audrey married to up-and-coming news anchor Stone Crandall, the character Chris Hemsworth is in talks to play. As mentioned, Charlie Day is also in talks, and original Vacation stars Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo are expected to return, reprising their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold, respectively.
Chase and D'Angelo's return to their roles is where this reboot feels a bit more like a sequel. The fact that Rusty and Audrey aren't being played by the original actors -- Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron -- isn't even that big of a shift here, as those two roles were recast for the three sequels that followed, European Vacation (Jason Lively, Dana Hill), Christmas Vacation (Johnny Galecki, Juliette Lewis) and Vegas Vacation (Ethan Embry, Marisol Nichols).
Leslie Mann seems like a great candidate for the role of Audrey, especially when taking into account her list of feature comedies, including This Is 40, Knocked Up, Big Daddy and Orange County. She's also worked with John Francis Daley, albeit under different circumstances. Daley is penning the screenplay with his Horrible Bosses co-writer Jonathan Goldstein. Mann and Daley both appeared in Freaks and Geeks. While Daley starred as one of the titular "geeks," Mann appeared as teacher Miss Foote in the "Chokin' and Tokin'" episode of the beloved and unfortunately short-lived 80s-set teen dramedy.
With Ed Helms in the role of Rusty, it wouldn't be at all surprising if the character turned out to be a chip off the old block, having grown up to be the same kind of enthusiastic family man that Clark was and likely still is. Whether or not that proves to be the case remains to be seen. It's not quite as easy to imagine what's going on with Audrey in the present day, even with Mann's face and sense of humor set to the role. Is she happily married? Does her husband get along with the Griswolds or is there tension there? And more importantly, how big of a role does Audrey have in this story? We'll find out eventually, as the film's set to start shooting in Louisiana next week.