Seth MacFarlane’s live-action reboot of The Flintstones will “probably not” happen, the Family Guy, American Dad and The Orville creator has revealed. The project was announced back in 2011, when MacFarlane was tasked with bringing the brand back to life on the small screen, for Fox. If the TV relaunch had gone well, a movie version may have followed.
There have been other attempts to revive the iconic Hanna-Barbera property, as well. In 2014, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy – the team behind The Other Guys – were developing an animated Flintstones movie. And then, in 2016, DC Comics launched a new run of The Flintstones comic books, which gave the modern Stone Age family a gritty reboot – where PTSD was a major part of the plot.
As the years have passed, fans have wondered whether MacFarlane’s vision for The Flintstones will ever come to fruition. And now, during a Reddit AMA to promote The Orville, one such fan has asked MacFarlane directly: “Is your Flintstones show ever going to happen?” MacFarlane offered an honest response, stating that the project will “probably not” see the light of day, because he struggled to differentiate Fred Flintstone from his Family Guy protagonist, Peter Griffin:
That kind of honestly by MacFarlane is appreciated; if he couldn't find a way to make Fred Flintstone feel like a unique character that's distinct from Peter Griffin, it was probably a wise move to let the project fall by the wayside. Also, between Family Guy, American Dad, Ted, The Orville, A Million Ways to Die in the West, MacFarlane has hardly been short of work for the last few years. There was no need to force out a Flintstones reboot if he couldn't find a fresh angle for it. It was arguably better to drop the project now than put out something unoriginal.
However, there are surely still plenty of fans that would love to see MacFarlane’s take on the Flintstones brand. In the AMA comments, some suggested that he check out DC’s gritty comics and seek inspiration from there. That would be an interesting blend of styles, with the darker, more grown-up style of the DC series pushing MacFarlane out of his creative comfort zone. As it stands, though, MacFarlane seems to have given up on the project and moved onto pastures new.
The Orville airs Sundays on Fox. MacFarlane has teased that some Star Trek cameos are on the way.