It looks as though the further adventures of the Griswold family will head to theaters fashionably early. It is being reported that the fumbling family farce, headlined by star Ed Helms, will once again put the ol' family Truckster back on the road a little more than two months ahead of its original schedule.
According to a scoop by The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is moving the release date of the upcoming franchise revival, simply titled Vacation, from its originally set release of October 9th up to the more vacation appropriate July 31st. The move represents a big vote of confidence from the studio regarding the film’s ability to compete in the ultra-competitive summer movie season amongst some big-budget bonanzas. It certainly stands as a surprisingly auspicious sign for the movie, possibly due to good reactions from early screenings, considering that this once-beleaguered sort-of-sequel had been held up in developmental purgatory for years and even experienced delays well after receiving the greenlight.
In the film, it looks as though we’ll see the baton of the overzealous dad - who fruitlessly attempts to treat his family to an unrealistically idealized cross-country family trip (once again) to the magical land of Walley World - passed from Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold to his son, Rusty Griswold, played this time around by Ed Helms. He’ll be joined by Christina Applegate, who plays Rusty’s wife, Leslie Mann, who will fill the role of his sister, Audrey, plus Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, who will return to reprise their roles as the elders of the Griswold clan. Additionally, stars like Chris Hemsworth, Charlie Day, Keegan-Michael Key, and Regina Hall, amongst others, will show up.
The film continues the continuity of the original series that (barring the made-for-DVD stinkers) consists of the 1983 seminal comedy classic National Lampoon’s Vacation, followed by the similarly-branded European Vacation in 1985; the perennial holiday standard Christmas Vacation in 1989; and the less-celebrated Vegas Vacation in 1997. The last of these saw the "National Lampoon's" label finally dropped. The franchise has seen some big name writers and directors take helm of the franchise, including both Harold Ramis behind the camera and the late John Hughes with the pen, but their shoes will be filled by an interesting duo of actors-turned-writers in John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, who will both serve as co-writers and co-directors.
For Daley, the former star of TV’s Bones and Freaks and Geeks, the gig comes as the culmination of a creative resume that he has been quietly building while still acting, with work on scripts like the Horrible Bosses films and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. For Goldstein, whose screenwriting credits run far deeper, the foray behind the camera will be territory just as new for him as it is for Daley, since neither of them have actually directed a feature length picture. Based on this latest move by the studio, though, signs seem to point to them doing just fine.
Vacation will begin a new generation’s pilgrimage to see a moose. Will it have moviegoers whistling "Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah" out of their assholes? We shall certainly see when the film hits theaters on July 31st.