Welcome back to Camp Firewood in Maine, complete with a full comedy cast including Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Jason Schwartzman and Bradley Cooper. Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer series takes place two months previous to the 2001 movie, starting on the first day of camp. As executive producer Michael Showalter explains: “At Camp Firewood there’s archery, swimming and the potential for an apocalypse every day.”
Spoofing the sex comedies aimed at teens in the noughties, producer David Wain adds that he drew on his own experiences as a kid for the show. “For me, summer camp was magical because everything was condensed and you were drawn together with this group of people and you were at an age in life where you’re just exploring and learning about sex and growing up. Every day at summer camp was like a year long. There was just so much that happened and so much drama – everything was so heightened.”
Although it’s set in Maine, the camp used in the show was actually in Santa Monica, at Calamigos Ranch in the mountains outside Los Angeles, and luxury accommodation can be booked for a holiday or special event (or perhaps even a raunchy summer camp?)
“Returning to Wet Hot is truly a trip,” explains Wain, “it’s like putting on a dirty old pair of underwear.” While Bradley Cooper, who plays Ben in the original movie and new show, describes what it was like returning to the same character 15 years later. “What’s weird about the whole experience is how not weird it is. And how, as things change in our lives, the one thing that hasn’t changed is Wet Hot American Summer.”
“Everybody just shows up and knows that something fun and ridiculous is going to occur,” adds Elizabeth Banks who is reprising her role as Lindsay. “The energy that the audience picks up on when they watch it, is just sort of our joy at getting to do this.”
See the hilarious new trailer below:
Wet Hot American Summer is released on Netflix on July 31.