Back in 2013, New Line got very close to making the first sequel in a decade to the popular Vacation series, which starred Chevy Chase as the bumbling patriarch of a hapless family whose getaways always go awry. Chase and Beverly D’Angelo (playing Chase’s wife) anchored four Vacation films (and later appeared in a couple of ads as their characters Clark and Ellen Griswold) throughout the 1980s and ’90s, and Randy Quaid’s Cousin Eddie character even got his own spinoff film, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure, in 2003. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new Vacation, which would have starred Ed Helms as the grown-up version of the Griswolds’ son Rusty, was called off three months before production was scheduled to begin because of internal debates at New Line over the creative direction of the series, and whether or not the new sequel should be R-rated (like the old, classic Vacations) or PG-13 (like most modern comedies).
That was over a year ago. Finally, THR says Vacation 5 (Or 6, Depending On Whether You Count That Cousin Eddie Thing) is ready to roll again. The story has no update on the film’s rating, but it says that shooting will begin next month with Helms still onboard to play Rusty, Christina Applegate set as his wife, and Chase and D’Angelo involved in a cameo capacity as well. The plot will follow Rusty as he “takes his family on a road trip similar to the one he and his parents and sister took when he was young” (in the very first Vacation from 1983, written by John Hughes and directed by Harold Ramis).
The latest addition to the cast is Chris Hemsworth, who will co-star as the hilariously named “Stone Crandall, an up-and-coming anchorman and the husband of Rusty’s sister,” who’s yet to be cast. Charlie Day will also pop up in a “cameo as a river-rafting guide” who—and I’m just guessing here—screams a lot in a high-pitched voice.
Hemsworth hasn’t done much comedy to date, so this will be his first big chance to show his chops that regard. Whether or not he’s funny remains to be seen, but there’s something fitting about the man who plays Thor appearing in the sequel to the original Vacation, whose gloriously tongue-in-cheek poster (seen above, and painted by Boris Vallejo) featured Chase holding a tennis racket aloft as if it was Thor’s mighty hammer.