Curtis Armstrong’s Confession About The ‘Embargo’ On The Revenge Of The Nerds

Zehra Kabak

While still hosting the ‘King of the Nerds’ program in 2015, Curtis Armstrong joined an interview with AV Club to talk about his part in the ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ series from the ’80s and ’90s.

While reflecting on his decision to return to the project for sequels after the release of the first film, he shared:

“What motivated me to go back: The second one was that Bobby Carradine was really lobbying hard for it, and I was doing ‘Moonlighting’ at that point. I got the script, and I really didn’t care for it very much. As much as I loved the first movie—and I truly loved it, and I loved working with everybody on it—I felt that doing the script was not a good idea, and of course, it was easy for me to say that because I was on a very popular television show at that point.”

The actor went on to mention the change in Fox’s administration and its effect on the follow-up movies:

“I asked 20th Century Fox—that’s where ‘Moonlighting’ was—and Fox, of course, is the company that was doing the ‘Nerd’ movie. Between the time we shot ‘Nerds’ and the time we released ‘Nerds,’ there was a change over at Fox. The new administration at Fox didn’t like ‘Revenge Of The Nerds’ and tried to bury it, but it became popular in spite of them. But it was not until that administration left—there had been an embargo about doing sequels at Fox because of this other administration. They just said no, no sequels. End of subject.”

The team that came after this one had an interest in the ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ series, though. According to Armstrong’s words, they hired people to write the next film’s script in a short time.

The script ended up being bad enough for the actor and some of the other cast members to reject the offer. But the Fox executives later let Armstrong know that they would get it rewritten by a new writer.

Following the changes made in the writing by Ed Solomon, most of the original cast, including the Booger’s actor, reunited in Florida to film the sequel. Armstrong talked about this process during his 2015 chat by saying:

“He was up for four days doing this lightning-fast rewrite, but he’s a good writer, and there’s not that much you can do with that. So then it became improv city again, and everybody’s throwing in bits and pieces, and it wound up being kind of a mess, but it was still fun being with the guys—and that was one of the big things for me, was to spend time with them. And then, ultimately, it went to a TV movie, and then, to be honest with you, it was just money.”

‘Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise’ didn’t achieve the same success as the first film when it hit the screen in 1987. Although it drew box office attention, it received negative reviews from critics, rating %7 on Rotten Tomatoes.

Still, the series ended up with four movies. Years after their release, Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine revisited the franchise as the hosts of a competition show inspired by it in 2013.

The ‘King of the Nerds’ TV show lasted for three seasons before TBS canceled it shortly after the actor’s AV Club interview.

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