On a solo New York Comic Con panel this past Friday, Paul Reubens shared wonderful stories from his prolific career, prompted by questions from fans in the audience. One fan asked if Paul had any favorite moments working with Tim Burton, and that got him talking about how Pee-wee's Big Adventure became Burton's directorial debut (starts at 8:57). It's a long story, as he admits, but ultimately a real Hollywood fairytale. Shelley Duvall plays a part in the story, as does Maryedith Burrell. Sly Stallone plays a part too but may just now be finding out his influential role. As Paul tells it, back in the day, he offered Warner Bros. "150 to 200" names of working directors to choose from, they declined all but one. He was disappointed in their choice and stalled in the hopes of getting a better one.
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"I had just worked like 10 years to get to the point where I'm sitting in Warner Bros. office with the presidents... and I have the opportunity to make a movie, and that's like the wrong director. That's not the right director. And I was completely inspired... and I don't think he knows to this day that he was such a strong inspiration... I was, at the time, completely inspired by Sylvester Stallone because, I'm not kidding, you probably... know this story, maybe some of you don't... Sylvester Stallone, when he made Rocky, very famously said 'no' to every single opportunity... that didn't include him starring in it.