After months of deep space-like silence, it appears that The Jetsons movie project is still alive -– almost two years since it was first announced. So, when will the futuristic family finally be ready to make the jump from animation to live-action? Will we have to wait until the 24th century?
Following the success of The Flintstones, Hanna-Barbera’s The Jetsons animated series first aired in primetime during the 1962-63 season. Set in the far-flung future, the show gives a humorous take on our lifestyle and revolves around the Jetson family — working-stiff father George (George O’Hanlon), mother Jane (Penny Singleton), daughter Judy (Janet Waldo), son Elroy (Daws Butler), Astro the dog (Don Messick), and Rosie (Jean Vander Pyl), their robot maid. Other voices are provided by Mel Blanc and Howard Morris.
Unlike The Flintstones, the show only lasted one season but it became a staple of Saturday morning television for decades and was revived briefly in the 1980s for a syndicated run. The Jetson clan have also returned for commercials, comic books, games, made-for-TV movies, and a 1990 animated feature film.
Still, it’s the prospect of a live-action version of The Jetsons that has excited imaginations across the globe — and perhaps even the galaxy.
In 2007, Robert Rodriguez (of Sin City, Grindhouse, and Spy Kids fame) entered into talks with Universal Studios and Warner Bros. about filming a Jetsons movie, with a possible 2009 release. He was trying to decide on his next project and the Jetsons movie supposedly had the edge because a script had already been completed. Though he maintained interest, Rodriguez focused on other projects.
The Jetsons script, written by Adam F. Goldberg, is set in the year 2307 and remains mostly true to the simple vision of the original 1960s series — a retro 1960s version of the future, complete with flying bubble-top cars and complex machines performing simple tasks.
In the story, George is falling behind at Spacely Sprockets and a new robot, Uniblab, has been put in charge of his division. Jane is becoming frustrated with her hum-drum housewife life, Judy is trying to fit in with the popular crowd at school, and Elroy is being bullied by some of his classmates.
All of the characters would be portrayed by live actors, with the exception of Astro who would be created via CGI (in a similar vein to the Cats & Dogs movie). Some possible names associated with the leading roles have included William H. Macy or Steve Carrell for George and Danny De Vito playing George’s tyrannical boss, Mr. Spacely.
Though it apparently attracted Rodriguez to the project, it’s unknown if any of Goldberg’s script will still be utilized as production plans get underway. Producer Donald De Line told Dark Horizons that the director’s finished his own draft of the script and is currently in talks with Warner Bros. about the specifics.
If all goes well, it now looks like the film will be getting a 2012 release. Rodriguez is currently working on his pet sci-fi project, Nerverackers, and will then turn his attention to the Jetsons movie. He’s apparently been doing some film tests for the movie and has been quite pleased with the outcome.