It may be hard to believe but it's been ten years since "Wet Hot American Summer" hit theatres. It probably doesn't feel like that long because not many people saw it upon it's initial release. After making a splash at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001, the camp comedy received only a perfunctory theatrical release that next summer and died at the box office, collecting less than $300,000 during its run. But fans began to discover the film on DVD, quoting it, having themed parties and suddenly the former flop became one of the biggest cult films of the past decade. This writer can remember seeing it shortly after it was released on DVD and then screening it repeatedly for any houseguest who hadn't yet seen the film.
The huge cast includes former virtual unknowns like Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper and Elizabeth Banks as well as Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Ian Black, A.D. Miles, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Molly Shannon, Christopher Meloni, Zak Orth, Margurerite Moreau, Judah Friedlander and Michael Showalter who co-wrote the script along with director David Wain ("Role Models," "Children's Hospital"). Wain spoke recently to Jeff Goldsmith at The Q&A podcast for the film's 10th anniversary and revealed a few interesting tidbits about the film as well as the desire to do a follow-up.
Wain: Yes, we have been talking about a sequel, prequel, something or other.
Goldsmith: The idea I've heard tossed around is that it would be a prequel but when you shoot it they would be 20 years older.
Wain: Well, no that would be absurd. The prequel would be the same summer so they would be 20 years old for the part yeah, but not younger. So it would be 40 year olds playing 16 year olds. And yeah, we're in the early stages of thinking about that.
Goldsmith: I hope it happens.
Wain: Me too.
The director also says he's been trying to get Universal (who owns the film) to do a 10th Anniversary DVD/Blu-ray release but they aren't interested. "I told them we would be willing to do a new prequel teaser short for it and new interviews and new material but they were like, 'No, nobody buys it. Nobody cares.'" Bad news for fans of the cult comedy but they have lined up a whole slate of events to celebrate anyway.
Last week Wain hosted an art show in L.A. featuring all artwork inspired by the film and is planning to bring his Stella cohorts Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black along for another celebration in Brooklyn next month. If you can't make it to one of those events, the best you can do is show up when Wain's next film, "Wanderlust" with Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston opens later this year and hope that its success might buy him the clout needed to get more 'Wet Hot'-related projects off the ground. The film is currently available on Netflix Instant so if you haven't seen it recently it might be worth another viewing.