There’s one line from The Jetsons that everybody remembers – “Jane, stop this crazy thing!” – so you can imagine what Twitter has in store for Kanye West if he follows through on his quirkiest quest: seeing his name in the creative credits of a Jetsons film.
It’s been a year and a half since West made a fleeting mention of The Jetsons on Twitter. “I was just discussing becoming the creative director,” he tweeted, although that phrasing was a surprise to the filmmakers and more bluster than anything. That part wasn’t a surprise, but West’s engagement with the idea was unexpected; as a pop-art maven, he leans toward Warhol, Murakami and other gallery-ready names, a sector that doesn’t naturally embrace the mainstream heritage of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, which aired on ABC on Sunday nights in the JFK era.
The original run of The Jetsons (a mere 24 episodes) debuted on September 23, 1962, and became a landmark moment as the network’s first color show. It was a close cousin to The Flintstones (1960-66), the eon-opposite but formula-similar stalwart on Friday nights. The Jetsons made a comeback in the 1980s aimed at young fans like West, who had seen the original series as reruns on Saturday mornings for years.
West commissioned portraits of the characters for his home decor, so you could go easy on Yeezy and dismiss the Jetsons missteps as unalloyed exuberance. It’s harder, though, to get excited about the actual idea. Nostalgia is nice, but two Flintstones movies and the memory of Justin Timberlake as Boo-Boo Bear is all the Hanna-Barbera movie magic we can fit into our heart at the present time.
But because we support a future with flying cars, we came up with some casting ideas for a live-action Jetsons film. And for fun we’ve added West’s imagined rebuttals. (We made them up. He didn’t say them.)
George Jetson: Bland, lazy, easily misled and routinely befuddled, George is a dim bulb in a bright future.
EW casting pick: George seems like a doofus descendent of Phil Dunphy, the Modern Family airhead played by Ty Burrell with slack-jawed deadpans and tape-delayed blinks – talents that will still deliver in the year 2062.
Kanye’s call: West memorably quoted Ron Burgundy in his remix of Ghostface’s track Back Like That, so we’re guessing he’d anchor The Jetsons with Will Ferrell.
Rosie the Maid: She’s got one big wheel (that’s how she rolls) and looks as aerodynamic as a filing cabinet, but she keeps family life tidy.
EW’s casting pick: Rosie’s frilly apron and sassy circuitry suit Melissa McCarthy to a T (or a T-100, if the filmmakers want to shake it up a bit).
Kanye’s call: Another lyric delivers the answer: “Put you out of your misery, Kathy Bates”
Judy Jetson: Fixated on clothes, her friends and heartthrobs (like singer Sky Rocker), Judy traditionally hasn’t been the most nuanced of characters, but could that change in a new feature film? The answer is yes, if you cast someone you respect.
EW casting pick: Elle Fanning for her acting chops.
Kanye’s call: Taylor Swift for her hair.
Mr. Spacely: The screaming boss was everywhere on the 1960s television dial, but nobody yelled better than the rotund Cosmo G. Spacely, president of Spacely Space Sprockets, who was given tyrannical bluster by the late, great Mel Blanc.
EW casting pick: Bob Hoskins seems like the best person to bellow, “Jetson! You’re fired!”
Kanye’s call: George W. Bush.
Elroy Jetson: Long before Jimmy Neutron or Wesley Crusher, Elroy Jetson was a brainy kid who cracked the formula for nice-kid geekery.
EW casting pick: Dakota Goyo, the young actor who brought a nice authenticity to Real Steel gets the nod as we age-up Elroy a bit.
Kanye’s Call: North West, a true change of direction.