Reading the news that The Flintstones are heading to Broadway made me wonder why their more futuristic cousins, The Jetsons have never enjoyed the same amount of attention. If we're really living in the future these days, why aren't we lining up to see Will Ferrell play George Jetson at the closest multiplex?
There have, of course, been various attempts to turn Hanna Barbera's futuristic family sitcom into a movie in the past; one of the most recent included Robert Rodriguez, which just seems... wrong, somehow (Although, I admit, I may now have created a Rose McGowan As Judy Jetson fetish in my mind). But still, in an era in which not only is every piece of our childhoods is getting recycled onto the silver screen, but moviemakers like to CGI-gadgetize the crap out've family movies, the fact that we're not onto at least the third entry in a Jetsons franchise points to only one conclusion: Hollywood is broken.
There are a few different routes that a movie version of the short-lived futureshock version of The Flintstones could take - all of which would, hopefully, avoid the fairly disastrous route of The Flintstones: Viva Rock Vegas. While I'd hope that the post-modern ironic take of a The Brady Bunch Movie wouldn't be the route the producers will end up taking, there's definitely some comedic potential in the very 1950s nuclear family vision of the future, and how dated it seems now. Personally, I'd rather see something closer to the Charlie's Angels approach (and that's one of the few times you'll see me recommending using those films as a model for anything): Reinterpret the concept with tongue-in-cheek, but not outright parody, allowing the movie to work on two levels. Or, in the case of Angels, one-and-a-half.
It may be that a Jetsons movie would've been out of step with popular culture a few years ago; more of an anachronism, something to be pointed at as quaint and old-fashioned in its lack of cynicism or Matrix-era regurgitations of William Gibson. But now, with President Obama and (more appropriately) the return of a candy-colored Star Trek, optimism is back in - and, if pitched properly, the anything-goes level of science from the original series could fit in with the magical science of Fringe and aesthetically-based reinterpretative invention of steampunk.
It probably won't live up to my imaginings, of course; already, before directors have been announced or casts have been imagined - although, really, Farrell as everyman father George; come on - I'm reminded of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and the horror of the wasted potential there. But nonetheless: In a world where there have been multiple Scooby Doo movies, the fact that we can't even point to a release date for a Jetsons film shows that someone hasn't been keeping their eye on the ball. Here's hoping that changes soon.