Safdie Bros doc on ‘Pee-wee Herman’ creator coming to HBO


Want to know more about Pee-wee Herman? Make a documentary — it’ll last longer.

HBO Documentary Films has announced plans for a two-part documentary about the life of Paul Reubens, a k a Pee-wee Herman, co-produced by Elara Films, home of “Uncut Gems” filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie, according to Deadline.

Elara partner (and new father) Sebastian Bear-McClard as well as “Joker” producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff will also support production, while documentarian Matt Wolf (“Spaceship Earth”) is slated to direct.

Reubens himself, despite a public fall-out since his days as a childhood icon, will participate in the documentary.

“I’ve been working with HBO since they were called Home Box Office,” said Reubens. “I’m honored and excited to continue my long history there. I love HBO, but I’m not going to marry them,” he added, managing to slip in a classic Pee-wee joke in his statement.

Paul Reubens
HBO Documentary Films has announced a two-part documentary about the life of Paul Reubens, a k a Pee-wee Herman.

Despite his decorated acting career, Reubens is best known for the whimsical and well-dressed character, created in 1982 as a stage act for adult audiences. Pee-wee’s show would sell-out five months straight in Los Angeles before he ultimately turned the act into a kid-friendly movie, 1985’s “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.” A year later, CBS launched the Saturday morning show “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,” which ran until 1990.

Josh and Benny Safdie
The as-yet titled feature is co-produced by Josh and Benny Safdie’s Elara Films, and directed by documentarian Matt Wolf.
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Scandal would later come for Reubens as the actor was arrested on a number of occasions for crimes related to lewd acts and pornography, making him subject to widespread ridicule. However the controversy would soon give way to Reubens’ reinvention as a once-again beloved character actor, landing roles in Ben Stiller’s “Mystery Men” and “Blow,” co-starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz.

Koskoff also said she is “thrilled” to tell “Paul’s incredible story.”

“He is a once-in-a-generation talent whose brilliance created an indelible pop culture phenomenon,” she continued. “Audiences will be inspired and entertained by Paul’s creativity, resilience and determination as they get to know the person behind the iconic character.”


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