Pee-wee Herman is back ... and not a minute too soon.

Yes, the inimical man-child Paul Reubens, whose TV shows and movies captivated kids of all ages during the 1980s, will team with Judd Apatow to develop an untitled feature for Universal that Reubens is writing with Paul Rust ('Inglourious Basterds,' 'I Love You, Beth Cooper'), Variety reports. Apatow will produce but not direct the project. Pee-wee Herman is back ... and not a minute too soon.

Yes, the inimical man-child Paul Reubens, whose TV shows and movies captivated kids of all ages during the 1980s, will team with Judd Apatow to develop an untitled feature for Universal that Reubens is writing with Paul Rust ('Inglourious Basterds,' 'I Love You, Beth Cooper'), Variety reports. Apatow will produce but not direct the project.

According to Variety, Apatow saw Reubens' recent "Pee-wee Herman Show" revival at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, where it played to packed houses (The show is bound for a 10-week Broadway run at the Stephen Sondheim Theater beginning Oct. 26). "Let's face it, the world needs more Pee-wee Herman," Apatow said.

The film will revolve around "a gigantic adventure" of a road trip that Pee-wee gets involved in.

Reubens' career has had its ups and downs. He created the Pee-wee Herman character with Phil Hartman in the late 1970s, when both were members of the L.A. comedy troupe The Groundlings, then staged 'The Pee-wee Herman Show' in L.A. theaters before putting together a gigantically successful HBO special in 1981. That led to 1985's "Pee-wee's Big Adventure," Tim Burton's feature directing debut. He then segued to "Pee-wee's Playhouse," which ran Saturday mornings on CBS from 1986-90.

Reubens went retrograde in 1991 when he was arrested for indecent exposure in Florida; CBS stopped airing his show and plans for further movies were shelved. In recent years Reubens has had a flourishing career in movies and TV but pretty much had abandoned Pee-wee until 2009, when he staged the successful "The Pee-wee Herman Stage Show: The Return."

Pee-wee, we're glad to have you back. "I know you are, but what am I?"

CATEGORIES Movies