In the 2001 indie comedy Wet Hot American Summer, the counselors at Camp Firewood pledged to reunite in 10 years, as Bradley Cooper’s Ben said, “to see what kind of people we’ve blossomed into.” At the very end of that 1981-set movie, you get the tiniest peek at that reunion in 1991, which involved only a quick callback to a joke about what time the get-together was supposed to take place.
Now Wet Hot masterminds David Wain and Michael Showalter are going to give you a much bigger look at the reunion. Netflix announced on Tuesday the duo are working on Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, which will debut on the streaming service in 2017.
The franchise, of course, has already made the jump from movie-to-television series. Last July, Netflix unveiled Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, an eight-episode prequel that showed the beginning of that fateful summer in Maine. (The movie was set on the last day of that camp that summer.) Ten Years Later — a series that shows what happened to all the counselors and some of the campers from that year — will consist of eight 30-minute episodes. Showalter and Wain will serve as writers and executive producers, with Wain also directing.
The cast is not being announced at this time, but Wain and Showalter managed to recruit the star-studded adult cast from the movie — Bradley Cooper! Amy Poehler! Elizabeth Banks! Paul Rudd! David Hyde Pierce! Christopher Meloni! Janeane Garofalo! And more! — to appear in First Day of Camp. New cast members for that series included Jon Hamm, Josh Charles, Jason Schwartzman, Kristen Wiig, and John Slattery.
The original movie — which slowly built a cult audience and became one of the aughts’ defining modern alt-comedies — featured the actors playing teen camp counselors were n their late-20s or early 30s. Though (or because) the most obvious angle for a TV series would have been the 10-year reunion, Wain and Showalter said their early discussions “organically” led them instead to explore the first day of camp that summer. In First Day of Camp, these actors, many in their 40s, were playing those same counselors, but even earlier that summer — which added an extra layer of absurdity to the smart-silly parody. This decade-later reunion will close the age gap somewhat. (Okay, slightly).
News of more episodes isn’t unexpected, as the Wet Hot cult continues to grow in popularity and First Day of Camp was received positively in its eight-episode run. Showalter and Wain spoke optimistically of continuing the series last year while making First Day of Camp, and cast members including Poehler expressed interest in doing more episodes.
“I’m surprised there hasn’t been way more stuff about summer camp over the years, because it is such a beautiful, forming part of life,” Wain told EW last summer. “I feel like it’s a place that’s naturally heightened every day, and naturally condensed with drama and teenage hormones, so it’s just naturally cinematic, for me. So I could see continuing to go back — and, of course, with this cast.”
Discussing where the franchise could go after First Day of Camp, Showalter hinted at the Ten Years Later concept, citing its mention in Wet Hot American Summer. “In the movie, it’s decided that they’re going to meet 10 years from now,” he told EW last summer. “That would make them in their mid-20s. It would be early ’90s. It was the grunge era. […] I think there’s something there. I wouldn’t mind seeing them as quasi-adults.” In another interview with EW, he noted: “My personal feeling about these characters and this world is that it has kind of a comic book quality to it, where there is always another story to tell. I’ve always felt like there is no shortage of fun stories we could tell about these characters.”
The next one is coming soon, probably next summer. Stock up on gum accordingly.