It looks like the time is just right for the popular “American Pie” franchise to attempt another comeback.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Universal Pictures is developing a new “fresh take” on the long-running franchise from filmmaker Sujata Day (“Definition Please,” “Insecure”). Day is writing the script for the project based on her own original pitch.
Universal Pictures Is Reviving ‘American Pie’ Once Again
The original “American Pie” film was released in 1999, written by Adam Herz and directed by Paul Weitz. The sex comedy was a smash hit, grossing over $235 million worldwide. It generated three big-screen sequels with the main feature cast, along with direct-to-video spinoffs, “American Pie Presents.”
According to THR, the project is being developed by Universal Film Entertainment Group’s non-theatrical production arm, 1440 Entertainment. Since the project is being produced by 1440 Entertainment, that would seem to suggest this will be a direct-to-video, video-on-demand, or straight-to-streaming project.
Case in point, 1440 Entertainment’s latest release is Rob Zombie’s “The Munsters.” 1440 Entertainment is a non-theatrical label for Universal Pictures. No plot details on this franchise revival are available yet, but THR reports that Day’s pitch on the franchise is a “fresh take.”
The original “American Pie” became a box office phenomenon, launching the careers of stars Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Tara Reid, Alyson Hannigan, Shannon Elizabeth, and Seann William Scott as Stifler. Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge also portrayed memorable roles across the franchise as Jim’s Dad and Stifler’s Mom.
The franchise was known of course for its outrageous jokes and raunchy comedic material. The first film was famous for its scene with Biggs involving a freshly made apple pie. Of course, things got a little worse for Biggs in the sequel in a scene involving some super glue.
The franchise’s last trip to the big screen was in 2012 for “American Reunion,” which featured the return of the entire main cast. While “American Reunion” did well overseas, grossing $177 million at the international box office, the film did underwhelming business domestically, grossing only $57 million. It did not do very well with critics, scoring only 45% on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to 61% for the original.
In light of the diminishing returns for the franchise, that is likely the main reason why a revival is being developed for Universal’s non-theatrical label. The last franchise installment was the 2020 spinoff, “American Pie Presents: Girls’ Rules,” which was released straight-to-DVD and video-on-demand.
It is unknown if any of the original cast members would return for this upcoming franchise update. Universal has not yet clarified if this “fresh take” will be a sequel, a ground-up reboot, some type of soft reboot/revival, or a reimagining. Regardless, the older films remain classic comedies and iconic for fans.
Day’s profile appears to be rising after appearing in the role of Sarah on HBO’s “Insecure.” Her directorial debut, “Definition Please,” where she also stars as a former spelling bee champion looking to reconnect with her estranged family, is now available on Netflix. Her other credits include co-starring in Issa Rae’s webseries, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” and she also directed the YouTube series “This Is My Story,” narrated by LeVar Burton.