Vacation: Origins and Evolutions

On July 29, Vacation will hit theaters as the Griswolds travel cross-country to Walley World… again.

While Vacation was originally under consideration to be a reboot of the National Lampoon’s Vacation series, co-writers and co-directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have instead turned the film into a direct sequel to first four theatrical Vacation movies.

Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo are back in Vacation as Clark and Ellen Griswold. But this time, the focus is on their son, Rusty Griswold, now played by Ed Helms. Rusty has a family of his own, and he’s going to take them on a trip to give them one last chance to visit Walley World before it closes for good. But Rusty is a true Griswold, and comedic disaster awaits them on the road.

It’s been 18 years since the last Vacation movie was in theaters, but the Griswolds’ misadventures made the series into a franchise back in the ‘80s. And there’s nothing Hollywood loves more than mining an existing franchise for sequels.

The Vacation-verse also has an interesting history, numerous recastings and continuity that could confuse even hardcore fans of the series. Ahead of Vacation’s release later this summer, Origins and Evolutions has brought together an overview of the franchise’s backstory to bring everyone up to speed.

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