Nickelodeon is reviving Invader Zim, the early ’00s animated series from creator Jhonen Vasquez, for a TV movie that will welcome back the original cast. TV revivals have been popular in recent years – especially those capitalizing on nostalgia properties from the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s. Netflix has garnered somewhat of a reputation for reviving cancelled series thanks to Fuller House – a sequel to the sitcom Full House – and the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life miniseries continuation of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s beloved property.
But, plenty of animated series are receiving similar treatment with reboots or continuations of previous shows, like Cartoon Network’s The Powerpuff Girls reboot and Samurai Jack season 5, Disney XD’s DuckTales reboot, and Netflix’s new series The Magic School Bus Rides Again (The Magic School Bus originally aired on PBS). Now, Nickelodeon’s cult-favorite animated alien series is getting the revival treatment as well.
Variety is reporting Invader Zim will return for a 90-minute TV movie that is currently in pre-production, with original creator Vasquez back to shepherd the project along. Invader Zim followed the titular alien (voiced by Richard Horvitz) as he assimilated in an Earth school in a bid to take over the world for his home planet’s leaders, the Almighty Tallest. He was assisted by his dysfunctional robot GIR (Rosearik Rikki Simons), and worked to avoid detection from his classmate Dib (Andy Berman) as well as Dib’s younger sister Gaz (Melissa Gahn).
Invader Zim only ran for one season on Nickelodeon in 2001, but it launched a media franchise that has grown to include comics and plenty of other merchandise. Nickelodeon’s senior VP of Content Development and Production, Animation Chris Viscardi said of the Invader Zim revival:
“As a network that prides itself on a 25-year history of creating groundbreaking, hilarious animation for kids, Invader Zim is one of our great loves. It’s been so exciting to see its popularity grow over the last decade through social media, consumer products, and the Zim comic books. What makes this announcement extra thrilling is the adventure that Jhonen has created for Zim, and I can promise you that it is as wonderfully absurd and strangely heartfelt as any fan of the original series could hope for, and kids seeing it for the first time will love it too.”
Of course, Invader Zim was a darker comedy in terms of children’s programming, aimed at the older end of Nickelodeon’s audience spectrum. Given Vasquez’s involvement, the TV movie will likely be similarly aimed at slightly older viewers than Nickelodeon’s typical audience. But, Vasquez’s return – along with the main cast all reprising their roles – indicates the Invader Zim TV movie will continue in the tradition of the animated series and, as Viscardi mentions, appeal to fans of Nickelodeon’s original show as well as new viewers.
We’ll keep you updated on Invader Zim as more information becomes available.
Invader Zim art source: Bang-Blast-Boom-Art