It's been 13 years since the last Pee-wee Herman movie landed in theaters, and Pee-wee's alter ego, Paul Reubens, is finally ready to slip back into the gray tux again in not one, but three brand new films.
However, unlike the first two flicks 1985's Pee-wee's Big Adventure and 1988's Big Top Pee-wee the next film is going to be for mature audiences only. "It's an adult Pee-wee movie that kids won't be able to come to," Reubens says of The Pee-wee Herman Story, a dark tale that charts the fictional character's rise to fame.
Not to worry, kiddies. Reubens admits feeling a tad guilty about penning an R-rated adventure for Pee-wee, and sought redemption by focusing on another, more family-friendly feature. "My guilt kind of turned me into writing this other one, that's starting to become really great," he says. "It begins and ends in the Playhouse and then the whole middle of it is like an epic adventure in kind of a make-believe land." (Yet another Pee-wee movie remains in the conceptual stages.)
Reubens whose 1991 arrest for indecent exposure at an adult movie theater led CBS to cancel his popular series, Pee-wee's Playhouse says that he never planned to toss aside his trademark bowtie for good. "My break [just] became a little longer than I had anticipated," he explains. "I'm really ready to do it now. I wasn't for a long time, and now I am."
Meanwhile, the 48-year-old performer returns to the big screen Friday in the Johnny Depp-Penélope Cruz drug drama, Blow, playing a coke dealer to the stars. And he also shot six episodes of ABC's upcoming game show You Don't Know Jack, based on the popular CD-ROM. "I get to make fun of the contestants," Reubens chuckles. "When they'd give a wrong answer, I'd laugh at them."