If you’re waiting for pop culture satirist “Weird Al” Yankovic’s second film, you are going to have to wait a little longer. Of course, since it has been 21 years since his first film, UHF, hit theater, you may be used to waiting.
This past January, Yankovic announced that he had a deal with Cartoon Network which in part had him developing a live action feature film. Over the year, though, the execs at the cable channel have had a change of heart about how much they want to push their brand out of animation into live action and called a halt to all feature film development. Al blogged about it-
I’ve mentioned the situation with Cartoon Network in a few interviews and podcasts, but I never formally addressed it, so… here’s what happened. As I had previously reported, after years of negotiation, I was able to sign a major production deal with Cartoon Network to provide content for them. They were primarily interested in live action features, so I pitched them on a movie idea. They loved it, and gave me the go-ahead to start working on the screenplay. I worked closely with them for several months, and after submitting my 4th draft, just when I was just about to get the official green light… Cartoon Network let me know that they were no longer in the feature film business. It was a major policy change that affected not only me, but also the dozen or so other movies of theirs that were in various stages of development. Everything just stopped. So, bad news for me, but good news for all the Cartoon Network fanboys that already hated my movie without seeing it (because apparently any live-action programming on that network would be sacrilegious). Anyway, it’s not entirely bad news – the script went into turnaround, which means I’m free to sell it somewhere else. (Come to think of it, that was pretty much the exact thing that happened when I was trying to get UHF made.) So maybe it’ll get produced at some point, maybe it won’t… all I know is, I’ll have a lot more free time this fall.
Hopefully, some other studio will step in and pick the untitled project up. Yankovic’s got a solid and supportive fan base who would certainly come out for his first film in two decades.
Would the film be a flat out parody of films the way UHF goofed on television? Who knows, but if it were, I would love to see Al school those people behind the last several years’ worth of weak parody movies. If instead it is some other peek in to Yankovic’s decidedly skewed view of the world, I would welcome that too.