Hilarious old grouch Chevy Chase writing new Vacation script
|NEWS - MOVIE NEWS|
SNL legend offers an alternative to Warner's Vacation sequel & has some choice words regarding Fletch franchise reboot rumors...
There is always a lot of talk about how notoriously-eccentric Bill Murray is, what with his 800 number that he uses to funnel film requests through, his penchant for showing up unannounced to frat parties, and a detached indifference to the mainstream Hollywood crowd. But what often gets overlooked is that there is another 1970s Saturday Night Live alum that may even exceed Murray in curmudgeonly weirdness - Mr. Chevy Chase. There are plenty of actors who I think are just fantastic in their craft and total a-holes in real life (Tom Cruise). But strangely, when it comes to Chevy, comparing his mostly-lovable film characters to the myriad of stories floating around out there about how much of a cranky old bastard he is in real life has always stumped me a little. It's almost like I've just never been able to admit that Clark Griswold is really a jerk, or that Dusty Bottoms is a turd in the punch bowl, or that Emmitt Fitz-Hume is a big-mouthed boob.
But I think that I've been coming around lately, because I've realized something. Chevy has reached a point in his career and life where he just doesn't care anymore. And you know what? He shouldn't. It seems to me that we need more people in the 'industry' like CC, people who are sufficiently iconic that toeing the company line isn't anything they feel the need to bother with anymore. When some studio execs make the extremely questionable decision to give Chevy his own talk show after watching some old Weekend Update clips, and it flops within the month because he's such a bitter old wiseass that he makes Don Rickles look like Shirley Temple, that's actually a good thing for people who admire straight talk.
So you can imagine what Chase must have thought when rumors began circulating that Warner Brothers is considering the possibility of resurrecting the beloved National Lampoon's Vacation franchise by pulling one of the recent in-vogue Hollywood moves - 'passing the torch' to a new generation; specifically to make it all about Clark Griswold's son Rusty and his disaster-prone adventures with his own family. Evidently, Chevy thought so little of this idea that he recently revealed to Collider that both he and Vacation co-star Beverly D"Angelo have been working together on a script idea of their own...
"...Actually, Beverly D'Angelo and I have been working on our own script, which is pretty dang funny. I've written an idea that would be basically like a Swiss Family Griswold. There's a cruise, there's a fire on the ship, we think the whole ship's on fire and we jump (it's just a little fire). And we end up on an island where we meet Randy (Cousin Eddie) somewhere, who's been left there from an old Survivor series. I like that idea."
Now, call me crazy, and maybe it's because I heard some painfully depressing news regarding another beloved 80s franchise yesterday and I'm not thinking clearly, but I like that idea. too. I'll even take it a step further and say that I think it sounds funny as hell. I mean, honestly - which version of a new Vacation film would you rather see (assuming that 'none' isn't a choice)? (A) - Clark browbeats the rest of the Griswolds into going on some crappy bargain basement Mexican cruise, everyone is totally miserable; then a little kitchen fire breaks out in the galley and a panicked Clark talks the family into jumping overboard. They wash up on an island and, lo and behold, there's Eddie, marooned weeks ago because he annoyed a Survivor crew so badly that they abandoned him there...
... Or (B) - a youngish, unfunny has-been plays the 47th version of Rusty Griswold (except this time he's the main character) and the audience maybe catches a 30-second cameo of a grizzled old Clark accidentally walking into a garage door or something before being forced to watch 90 minutes of a new Griswold family that nobody could care less about?
I think I'll take choice (A), thanks very much. Choice (B) doesn't even make any sense! It's hard for me to imagine that Rusty, who has spent four movies shaking his head at his idiot father's pratfalls and unhinged behavior, would inexplicably sprout into a bumbling, oafish Clark Jr.. Has anyone at Warner's even SEEN these movies? As nonsensical and lazy as that plot sounds, though, Chevy has been around the block enough times to know how this kind of thing often shakes out...
"It's hard to sell these things to the Warner's people. It depends on who's there and what their mood is and what they think people are gonna like."
Translation - "We all know how far these suits have their heads up their asses and wouldn't know a good movie if it turned into a white limousine and chauffeured them around Malibu. So expect my script to get red-lit while they desperately try to cast Zac Efron as the new patriarchal Rusty." Yeah, I hear ya, Chevy.
Interestingly, the Vacation series wasn't the only 80s franchise that came up during the conversation...
"It's the same thing with Fletch... I mean, look - I'm not gonna do Fletch unless I'm Fletch! If they start writing something for a kid who's Fletch and I'm just helping out - "bye!" I mean, there's no reason why, at my age, I can't still be Fletch. I've always been getting this impression that they'd like me to be mentoring a younger Fletch type [kid]. No. What am I - James Coburn on a western? No. Nothing against James Coburn. He's great. Is he alive? Yeah, I think he is."
SNAP! Nothing like fitting in a oddly-random James Coburn dig, while at the same time laying a wicked burn on the whole increasingly-embarrassing Bill Murray/Dan Aykroyd/Ghostbusters 3 fiasco. No, he didn't mention it by name, but you know he's making fun of those guys. It's called 'reading between the lines', folks. I'll say it again. SNAP!
Getting back on topic, it's interesting to hear how Chevy wants no part whatsoever in 'passing the torch' when it comes to any of the iconic roles that he starred in, but Aykroyd is so strangely desperate to bring GBIII to the people that he no longer cares whether Bill Murray is attached or not. Of course, when it comes to Chevy, it's probably wise to take what he's saying with a grain of salt. Chase is notorious for toying with the media via Johnny Carson-esque levels of deadpan humor. Regardless, I for one wouldn't mind another Vacation and/or Fletch movie, provided it was done right. I'm getting a little tired of trying to tell the Ghostbusters 3 cast and crew how to make the movie and they don't seem to be listening. What are your thoughts, Shadowlocked readers?
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