In the Venn diagram of things the internet loves, there’s likely a healthy crossover audience for the works of Jordan Peele and the ‘90s Disney cartoon “Gargoyles”.
This is because the internet loves Jordan Peele. The internet also loves “Gargoyles”. Naturally, the two things combined sounds like the best thing ever.
Peele is, apparently, working on a new project that will bring “Gargoyles” out of its relative obscurity.
According to entertainment industry newsletter The Ankler, Peele has been speaking to Disney about rebooting “Gargoyles”. In so doing, he’s basically trying to make all of your childhood dreams come true.
As appealing as this idea sounds, I’m really not sure it’s a good idea. There are a few big roadblocks to the success of any “Gargoyles” revival, and I’m not sure if this is the best use of Peele’s considerable talent.
A Lack of Support
To get an indication of why this “Gargoyles” revival might not be a good idea, let’s take a look at the actual quote from The Ankler which reveals the problem.
According to journalist Richard Rushfield, while Peele is enthusiastic about the project, Disney doesn’t actually want to be involved.
“How do you turn down Jordan Peele? Well, you can’t. Who wants to be responsible for that decision? So in the absence of a good reason to say no, but prevented by their Big IP box from saying yes, Disney is slow walking the decision. It’s hoping, it seems, that they’ll run out the clock, he’ll sign other deals elsewhere, and the project will just fade away.”
From the sounds of it, Disney’s executives are caught in an unwinnable situation.
Nobody wants to be the guy who publicly turns down Jordan Peele. But, nobody wants to be responsible for a new “Gargoyles”.
In spite of the show’s popularity among certain nostalgic manchildren, “Gargoyles” was not a popular show upon its release. The series is hardly “Ducktales”. The wider public consciousness simply doesn’t care for it.
Bringing the show back doesn’t sound like a safe bet for Disney, even with Peele’s involvement.
So, the executives have tentatively agreed, but they’re doing everything they can to stall the project. The hope is that Peele will get bored and wander off. It’d be better if he was making hits for some other studio than risking these executives’ bonuses by taking any kind of creative risk.
In other words, “Gargoyles” is the victim of typical Hollywood politics, and it sucks.
A Good Idea in Theory
Were the situation different, I might be inclined to feel optimistic about this project. It could turn out well.
Just not at Disney.
I don’t want to see a watered down version of Peele’s vision, where he has to fight for every creative change he wants to make. I don’t want a version of “Gargoyles” that’s been subjected to years of corporate infighting and executive changes made to try and sell the property to the lowest common denominator.
This simply doesn’t sound like my idea of a good time.
Besides, Disney kind of has a point.
The Peele Dilemma
The problem with getting Jordan Peele involved with a project like this at this point in his career, is there’s so many more interesting things he could (and should) be doing.
Peele is a phenomenal comedic talent, but he also the most culturally important movie of 2017.
He has a lot of offers on his plate, and plenty of projects to choose from. Full creative freedom is his, within reason.
So to see Peele shackled to Disney, caught up in a grudge match over a ‘90s cartoon, feels like a waste.
I’d much rather see him go somewhere else and make something that everyone is enthusiastic about. He could create some amazing stuff.
Besides, at the end of the day, “Gargoyles” is just a ‘90s cartoon.
There, I said it.
The cartoon is fine, but it offers nothing special to anyone who watches it without a rose-tinted view of its specific place in history.
I’m getting kind of tired of the ‘80s and ‘90s revival in general. Considering the rise of Smash Mouth parodies, I think the world is pretty much ready for some ‘00s nostalgia by this point.
Once we slip into the next decade, soul patches will be back in fashion, and ‘90s cartoons will seem passé again.
Yes, this era of nostalgia is going to be horrifying to live through, but nevertheless, we’re going to be stuck with it.
Either way, a “Gargoyles” reboot made by a version of the Walt Disney Company that really doesn’t care?
There’s no way that’ll turn out well.