Stifler's Back13 Jul, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold
Universal Studios Home Entertainment is going back to the well for a fifth helping of “American Pie.”
The three theatricals in the franchise, beginning with 1999's American Pie, proved so successful on DVD and VHS that last year the division produced a fourth film exclusively for video release.
American Pie Presents: Band Camp, with only Eugene Levy returning from the original cast, was released in December 2005 and has sold more than 2 million units, a high tally for a direct-to-video release.
“We believe that if you are able to draft off a strong theatrical franchise, you get an advantage over other direct-to-video releases,” said Ken Graffeo, Universal's EVP of marketing. “We found this out years ago when we began producing direct-to-video sequels to Land Before Time. And lately, we've been carrying this over into the adult arena, with titles like Carlito's Way: Rise to Power, American Pie Presents: Band Camp, and our two ‘Bring It On' sequels.”
Buoyed by the success of these titles — Carlito's Way: Rise to Power, released 12 years after the theatrical original, sold upwards of 1.1 million units — Universal has announced that filming has begun on installment No. 5 in the “American Pie” franchise.
American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile, like its predecessor, is being produced under the “DVD Original” brand by Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Rogue Pictures, which also produced the previous “DVD Original” release.
Principal photography began June 5 in Toronto on the film, which once again features Levy, the only constant in all five films. The cast also includes Christopher McDonald (Happy Gilmore, Rumor Has It…) and John White (Prom Queen: The Marc Hall Story, How to Deal).
No release date has been set for American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile.
“It's like a theatrical — we're in production, and then we have to go into post,” said Vivian Mayer, Universal's SVP of publicity.
The film follows Erik Stifler's quest to lose his virginity before he graduates from high school, echoing the plot of the first film.