'Son of Ernest' to Serve as Reboot of Long Running Comedy Series

October 15, 2012

Ernest P. Worrell

Just because actor Jim Varney has passed away, doesn't mean we're done with Ernest P. Worrell. After all, since studios are obsessed with rebooting and established intellectual property, a film franchise with no less than nine films sounds like a solid investment. That's exactly what Ruckusfilm thought, and the company is working on Son of Ernest, a reboot that will be produced by character creator John Cherry. With lead actor Jim Varney passed away, the film will focus on Ernest's long-lost son, who will most likely be just as goofy as Varney's original character who's origin goes back to commercials in the 80s. Read on!

A press release was also sent our way with this Bourne Legacy spoofing promo art:

Son of Ernest - Promo Poster

Variety reports relatively new writer Dan Ewen (who has a film called Dear Satan set up at Fox with the Farrelly Brothers attached, and a family film called Playing with Fire on the way), will script the reboot. Ewen told the trade, "Ernest was this plucky little engine that could -- against all odds. Ernest struck a nerve, one we're going to revisit. We plan to honor the originals and Jim Varney while birthing a new chapter that lies somewhere between not sucking and Earth-shatteringly funny." Considering most of the films were only amusing to kids, it's likely it will be further away from being "Earth-shatteringly funny."

However, Ewen is very much aware of the difficulty in taking on a reboot like this, especially with a property that's as strange and inexplicably revered as Ernest. The writer sent an e-mail our way saying:

"I am the sick bastard who's been handed the Jaws of Life in the hope that he can resurrect the glorious marriage of camp and shameful giggles that is the Ernest franchise. I accept this charge knowing the risks, and fully aware that my family could disown me if the resulting cinematic experience is less than pure genius."

He went on to say, "I will of course allow for the possibility that you're so dismayed by the news that you'd prefer to forget it's even happening. No worries if that is indeed the case." You know what? I like this guy. He seems to be in tune with the online world of movie news and knows that moves like this to remake established property like Ernest are not very popular nowadays (at least when it comes to critical opinion over audience response). But with this kind of sensibility coming from the screenwriter, I'm hoping he can do something fun with the Ernest series. Thoughts?

Find more posts: Development, Movie News



Ewwwweeweweweweweeeweweweewe rimshot!

Rimshotboy on Oct 15, 2012



antimarc on Oct 15, 2012


I remember he started in TV commercials for a local North Carolina town. He was so funny and likable he became more famous and discovered by Hollywood to make his own movies. Now I remaking this will not have the same effect on the fans he had.

The Truth on Oct 15, 2012


While I am quite vocal of my dislike for reboots and sequels, I approve this. The films were some of my favorites as a kid and I miss them.....Know what I mean Vern?

Brian Sleider on Oct 15, 2012


Camp tends to not play very well on the big screen. I hope they don't try to ground it in reality like Three Stooges - no fourth wall, that's the only way I can see this happening.

OfficialJab on Oct 15, 2012


This sounds as hopeless as Son of the Mask

JBrotsis on Oct 15, 2012


I like this guy's attitude, but I just don't think anyone could pull this off. The tv series was great, ...Camp was great, but this just seems hopeless. RIP Jim Varney, we miss ya bud.

grimjob on Oct 15, 2012


...just when I thought that the depths of depravity in Hollywood's quest to, for whatever reason, avoid creating anything new while feeding upon the carcasses of the dead had reached bottom. No wonder flesh eating monsters are all the rage, it is a metaphor for the industry...

ReadWryt on Oct 15, 2012



castingcouch on Oct 15, 2012


If someone can do it, Dan Ewen can! Watch out for this guy!!!

Tom on Oct 15, 2012


no, please god no!

syntaxterror on Oct 15, 2012


go to yall

lol on Oct 16, 2012

13 maybe lol i got the weird quality

Jim on Oct 27, 2012


The franchise is revered? by who exactly? most of them went straight to video and nobody cared about them. Jim Varney's character became tiresome and kids stopped caring.

AceHunter on May 14, 2013


Could be a great show of Respect to Jim, I'd love to see this movie

Hhisland Andme on May 28, 2013


I am quite confident this movie will do well. The Ernest franchise is such a unique type of comedy. It is timeless and has always been known for good family friendly fun. The movies were always meant to just sit down, grab a snack, and have fun laughing. Ernest is a character that in my opinion, kids and adults love to root for and to me, no other movie franchise has as much of an enjoyable re-watching feel than the Ernest franchise. For Son of Ernest, we have no idea what to expect for the plot but I believe the right man has been cast for the role of Ernest's son. His name is Billy Crank and he is great. Though no one can recreate Ernest perfectly like Jim Varney, if Ernest did have a son, this would be him. Everything from Billy's voice to his facial expressions to his movements to the goofy attitude he can put on just makes the character come to life so well. In addition to his amazing acting skills, morally he is the right man for the job as well. Ernest has always been known wholesome fun and Billy is truly a genuinely great man from everything I have seen. He talks with his fans, makes people laugh, helps people out, and has a good moral center. I am super excited for Son of Ernest.

Rand on Dec 11, 2013

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