UPDATE: Added Nickelodeon's official press release announcing the news!
The 2D-animated TV movie, produced by Nickelodeon in Burbank, California, will continue the inept wanna-be space menace’s misadventures, with original voice stars from the early 2000s series.
The Invader Zim movie will follow perpetually desperate, delusional Zim as he concocts a new, potentially Earth-destroying plan to finally prove his worth and win him the respect he deserves from his Irken leaders, the Almighty Tallest.
The voice cast will welcome back Richard Horvitz as Zim; Rikke Simons as his malfunctioning (but adorable) robot servant GIR; Andy Berman as Dib, Zim’s arch-enemy determined to expose his plans; and Melissa Fahn as Gaz, Dib’s menacing younger sister. Additional casting will be revealed in the coming months.
"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," Chris Viscardi, SVP of content development and production of animation at Nickelodeon, said in a statement. "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."
The original Invader Zim series launched in 2001 to critical acclaim, and quickly became a cult hit. The series chronicled an alien named Zim who arrived on Earth from his home planet of Irk with imperialistic intentions of conquering the planet (in order to gain favor with his Irken home race). Wildly ineffective but hilariously earnest, Zim and his robot companion GIR attempted to blend in and study the human race while simultaneously trying to enslave it. Despite Zim and GIR's subpar disguises, the only humans who realize they are extraterrestrials are school-aged paranormal investigator Dib. Invader Zim ran for 27 episodes over two seasons, and received a Primetime Emmy Award and an Annie Award for individual achievement in animation (which went to storyboard artists Kyle Menke and Steve Ressel, respectively).
Nickelodeon has previously announced new TV movie projects for other hit Nicktoons, Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie — premiering this Thanksgiving — and Rocko's Modern Life. The network also recently produced a live-action movie based on the networks hit '90s gameshow Legends of the Hidden Temple, and honored Double Dare with an anniversary special.
In the Hey Arnold! movie, the story from the original series picks up with Arnold finally getting answers about the whereabouts of his missing parents. The new Rocko's Modern Life special will bring back all the beloved characters, but offer some unexpected new takes on modern life in O-Town.
Invader Zim's cult following proved to be strong enough to spawn its own convention. Called InvaderCON, the event ran for three consecutive years and count cast members, writers, animation crew, and Vasquez himself as guests.
In 2015, Oni Press launched an Invader Zim comic book series with Vasquez himself on board as a writer. The series continues today, having released Invader Zim #18 in March 2017. Invader Zim #8 even adapted the idea for an unproduced Invader Zim episode, "When Pants Ruled!"
Original Nickelodeon Press Release via Business Wire:
Invader Zim Returns to Nickelodeon in All-New Original TV Movie Based on Fan-Favorite Animated Series
Creator Jhonen Vasquez Serves as Executive Producer, Original Voice Cast to Reprise Their Roles
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April 04, 2017 04:42 PM Eastern Daylight Time
BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nickelodeon officially announced today the greenlight for an all-new, 90-minute Invader Zim TV movie from original creator Jhonen Vasquez, marking the network’s third animated property from its rich library of content to be reimagined for today’s audience. The 2D-animated TV movie, produced by Nickelodeon in Burbank, will show the latest and greatest ridiculous attempt at world domination by the universe’s worst alien invader ever. The movie will also feature original voices from the fan-favorite television series.
“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,” said Chris Viscardi, SVP, Content Development and Production, Animation, Nickelodeon. “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.”
The Invader Zim TV movie follows the perpetually desperate and delusional Zim as he creates a new and potentially Earth-destroying plan to finally get the attention he deserves from his Irken leaders, the Almighty Tallest.
Original voice cast members reprising their roles include: Richard Horvitz as Invader Zim; Rosearik Rikki Simons as GIR, Zim’s insane robot sidekick; Andy Berman as Dib Membrane, junior paranormal investigator and Zim’s alien-obsessed human nemesis; and Melissa Fahn as Gaz Membrane, Dib’s younger, video game obsessed sister. Additional casting will be announced in the coming months.
Invader Zim debuted on Nickelodeon in 2001 and chronicled the efforts of an extraterrestrial named Zim on a mission to conquer Earth and enslave the human race.
Invader Zim joins the previously announced TV movie Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie and Rocko’s Modern Life TV special, which are both currently in production. Coming in 2017, Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie, will feature a storyline picking up from where the original series ended in 2004, resolving unanswered questions and plotlines, including Arnold finally getting answers about the whereabouts of his missing parents. The Rocko's Modern Life TV special will bring back all the show’s classic characters and offer some surprising new takes on life in O-Town.
Nickelodeon, now in its 38th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 90 million households and has been the number-one-rated kids’ basic cable network for 22 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).
Feel free to go ahead and sing the “Doom” song now. “Doom! Doom! Doom! Doom! Doomy, Doomy, Doomy!”
More Nick: Episode 27: The Invader Zim Cast | Nickelodeon Animation Podcast!
In the UK, Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products and Forbidden Planet recently launched a Invader Zim retro range.
More Nick: Episode 14: Jhonen Vasquez | Nickelodeon Animation Podcast!
Sources: Animation Magazine, E! News, Entertainment Weekly, Wikipedia, ComicBook.com, Sify, 411Mania, LA Times, MTV News; H/T: ToonZone Forums member PinkiePie97.
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