The cast of the 2004 comedy hit Napoleon Dynamite are coming together for a virtual reunion in aid of The Hunger Project. Key members of the principal cast including Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), Efren Ramirez (Pedro S&ánchez), Jon Gries (Uncle Rico), Tina Majorino (Deborah “Deb” Bradshaw), Haylie Duff (Summer Wheatley) and, Shondrella Avery (LaFawnduh Lucas) will be joined by several other surprise cast members for the show, titled Cyber Dynamite, which is due to debut on December 4th on YouTube. The cast will be looking back at the iconic comedy, and even discussing where their characters might be today.
The special will be free to view via YouTube, with donations being requested which will go to help The Hunger Project, a non-profit charitable organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger, that implements programs aimed at mobilizing rural grassroots communities to achieve sustainable progress in health, education, and nutrition. Fans can also enter a raffle giveaway, with every $75 entry being considered for prizes including a 20-minute acting lesson with Ramirez, a custom hand-drawn portrait by Heder, and a custom Uncle Rico autographed Wilson NGL football courtesy of Gries. Sweet!
Released in 2004, Napoleon Dynamite follows the titular Napoleon, a socially awkward teenager living with his grandmother and older brother in Preston, Idaho, who gets caught up in his dysfunctional family’s misadventures while trying to help a friend win the class presidency. Written by Jared and Jerusha Hess and directed by Jared Hess, the movie is about so much more than this simple plot and was praised for diverting from the usual high school movie tropes to create something uniquely funny and endlessly quotable.
Napoleon Dynamite has since garnered a passionate cult following, with many wondering whether we will ever have the pleasure of basking again in Napoleon’s company (as well as his nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, and computer hacking skills) in a sequel. Addressing the rumors of a potential follow-up Heder recently revealed that it is something that he and writer-director Jared Hess have discussed, and while he would love to do it, the decision ultimately comes down to Hess. “I would come back if Jared decided, ‘Hey, let’s go ahead, and let’s see if we can pull off the magic,” Heder said earlier this year. “We’ve thought about it. We’re always playing with the idea. I know I’ve talked a little bit with Jared, and it’s his baby, so I’m just like, ‘You pull the trigger on that.'”
Heder even teased what he had in mind should Napoleon Dynamite 2 ever come to fruition saying, “I feel like the future for Napoleon would be a lot more raw and edgy. So whatever he comes up with would be fun to explore. Because I think whatever Jared comes up with wouldn’t be your typical, ‘Let’s do a sequel where they all look the same and they all act the same.’ I think it would be an interesting development in their lives.”
Until the fateful day that Napoleon returns to brighten up our lives once more, “Cyber Dynamite”, the virtual Napoleon Dynamite cast reunion to benefit The Hunger Project will air on Friday, December 4th at 8 p.m. ET. You can stream the event via Stratford Productions, Inc..