When beloved comedian Jim Varney passed away in the year 2000, it seemed like his signature character, the childlike goofball Ernest P. Worrell, had passed away with him. Twelve years later, it appears that John Cherry, who created the character for television commercials and directed eight of the nine films in the franchise, believes the time has come to revisit the property. Variety is reporting that Cherry, along with Ruckusfilm's Clarke Gallivan and Coke Sams, will produce the tenth film in the franchise, entitled Son of Ernest.
Little is known of the plot for Son of Ernest other than the (hopefully) obvious implication that it will star a new actor in the role of Ernest's apparently long-lost son. Dan Ewen, whose only screenwriting credit to date is an upcoming comedy called Opposites Attract, has been hired to write the screenplay and also produce the new film. We don't envy Ewen's task, and not because the Ernest movies were a particularly incredible act to follow. Some of the movies were pretty funny (Ernest Goes to Camp and Ernest Saves Christmas remain audience favorites), many of them were not (we wouldn't exactly recommend you watch Ernest Goes to Africa anytime soon), but the real issue here is that Son of Ernest depends entirely on the assumption that, at some point over the previous films, Ernest P. Worrell actually had sex. With a real woman.
That's… That's just not a mental image that we're comfortable with.
For those who may not remember the character, Ernest P. Worrell was a denim-clad jack of all trades, and the perpetual thorn in the side of his perpetually off-camera neighbor and comic foil "Vern." Ernest was introduced to audiences through TV commercials in 1980, and over the years promoted products ranging from Coca Cola to Taco John's. Ernest eventually expanded to feature films, starring in eight theatrically-released motion pictures and four straight-to-video adventures. From 1987 to 1998, Ernest's films found the lovable comedian Jim Varney in strange comic situations like flying Santa's sleigh, developing electrical superpowers and stopping evil trolls from ruining Halloween with a little help from Eartha Kitt.
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