Clark Griswold and family are heading to the small screen, as WarnerMedia has put into development a comedy series for HBO Max called The Griswolds. Johnny Galecki, who played Rusty Griswold in Christmas Vacation, is executive producing The Griswolds with The Middle scribe Tim Hobert writing the series. As it sounds, the half-hour single camera sitcom is based on National Lampoon's Vacation movies, following the day to day lives of the Griswolds when they come home to the Chicago suburbs after their shenanigan-filled vacations.
There have been five official Vacation movies developed by National Lampoon at this point, with each installment featuring Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo in the roles of Clark and Ellen Griswold. Randy Quaid and Miriam Flynn both show up often in the movie series as well as their friends and neighbors, Eddie and Catherine Johnson. There is also Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure, which gave Quaid his own spin-off movie, and Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo starred in an official 14 minute Griswold short.
The actors playing the Griswold children, Rusty and Audrey, have consistently changed in every movie. At this time, it's not clear if any of these actors will be on board for The Griswolds or if the series will introduce an entirely new cast. While we've all come to accept the revolving door of actors for Rusty and Audrey, most Vacation fans probably wouldn't be too thrilled about Chase and D'Angelo getting recast.
Based on a short story written by John Hughes, the first Vacation movie was released in 1983, following Clark Griswold and the Griswold family on a cross-country trip to Walley World in California. European Vacation, Christmas Vacation, and Vegas Vacation would follow in 1985, 1989, and 1997, respectively. Quaid and Flynn also both reprised their franchise roles in the television spin-off Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure in 2003. In 2010, Chase and D'Angelo also returned as the Griswolds for the short film Hotel Hell Vacation, which was created as part of an advertising campaign for the vacation rental company HomeAway.
A soft reboot of the Vacation franchise came in 2015 when Ed Helms and Christina Applegate took over as the new lead characters, with Helms playing the new Rusty and Applegate co-starring as his wife. This time, Rusty and family decide to travel to Walley World, just as he had done as a child in the original movie. Although their roles were reduced, Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo also appear in the movie to once again reprise their roles as the Griswold parents, with the movie revealing the two have since opened their own bed and breakfast in San Francisco. While profitable at the box office, the movie was not as warmly received by critics as the earlier Vacation movies, leaving the future of the franchise in jeopardy.
Executive producing for HBO Max alongside Galecki and Holly Brown of Alcide Bava is writer Tim Hobert, with Cory Wood also on board as a producer. It's not yet entirely clear when the series will begin shooting or when we might see it available for streaming on HBO Max. In the meantime, you can always go back and watch the original classic movies, and many families are certainly having their annual Christmas Vacation viewings for the holiday season. This news comes to us from Deadline.