It's been announced that the maker of hit CG film Sausage Party, is now working on a brand new reboot of The Jetsons. Conrad Vernon, co-director of the R-rated animated film about self-aware food, has been engaged to work on the project, which has been long gestating without getting past the development stage.
Sausage Party was a major moneymaker for Sony/Columbia studios, taking over $140 million worldwide from a production budget of only $19 million. It proved that R-rated animation could be as much of a draw at the cinemas as the typical family-orientated CG-based films, as long as the adult humour and promotion was just right. However it shouldn't be forgotten that Vernon's previous credits also include the substantial successes of more typically PG-rated animation such as; Shrek 2, Monsters vs. Aliens, and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. So cinema-goers shouldn't expect future projects from Vernon to be as raunchy as his most recent film.
With that in mind, Variety has reported that Warner Bros. have just engaged Vernon to develop a brand new animated version of The Jetsons, with the clear suggestion that he will direct the movie itself. The original cartoon was made by popular animation studio Hanna-Barbera and aired primetime on ABC in the early '60s. The beloved show was basically a futuristic version of The Flintstones, and was set in 2062. The stories all centred on the family unit of George, Jane, Judy, and Elroy Jetson along with Rosie the Robot.
Warner Bros. owns the rights to the Hanna-Barbera library, and the studio has been working to get a new version of the show on cinema screens for some time. At one point Robert Rodriguez was due to direct a live-action version in 2009, and in 2012 yet another live-action version was in the planning stages. But the only adaptation that did appear was a straightforward animated "movie" that Universal released in 1990 just before Warners obtained the rights. That version was actually directed by Joseph Barbera, one of the creators of the original series.
It's assumed that the film will be CG-animated and will follow the usual family-friendly setting of the shows, along with the light-hearted antics of the Jetson family themselves. The nostalgia element of the property shouldn't be underestimated, as it would seem likely that many parents still remember the original show from re-runs and home media, and would want to introduce their own children to the characters as well as see a new interpretation for themselves. Although some form of re-invention of the concept can't be ruled out either.
As well as guiding Sausage Party to success, Vernon has shown a steady hand in directing the previously mentioned DreamWorks films and making them bankable properties. So it seems that he is a good choice in reintroducing us to George Jetson and his family. No further details regarding voice-casting or a planned release is available yet.
Screen Rant will keep you up to date with any further news of The Jetsons.