Those ’90s kids just won’t stop rejoicing as Variety brings word that Nickelodeon, soon after announcing its intent to put some of the most beloved shows from the network’s past back on the air with its ’90s-centric The Splat programming block, is taking the next step and actually reviving said Nicktoons. First to receive this treatment will be Hey Arnold!, which ended on a cliffhanger when football-headed hero Arnold discovered a map that seemed to lead to the whereabouts of his missing parents.
The A.V. Club spoke with Hey Arnold! creator Craig Bartlett about the revival; Bartlett says that while the project is still in its very beginning stages—Nickelodeon just greenlit a script, and will make a decision about whether to actually produce the movie after reading it—he is “absolutely” involved in the revival and will supervise a team of writers tasked with scripting the movie. He also confirmed a report in Variety saying that the movie will pick up at the cliffhanger ending of series finale “The Journal,” and that the movie will provide “answers and closure” for adult fans who grew up with the series while introducing the characters to Nickelodeon’s core demographic of kids age 6-11. “They want me to make sure we don’t leave any of them behind,” he says.
In this same spirit, Bartlett says the new movie will come with a slight redesign of the show’s characters, albeit one in the spirit of the original series. “We want it to have a new look and feel but still respect the canon of what we’ve done,” he says. It’s a tricky balancing act for sure, but it sounds like there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the project, both at the network and in the writers’ room. Bartlett adds he’ll try to get the new movie done “as soon as we can.”
In the meantime, Nickelodeon execs have also been teasing the potential return of not only Nicktoons, but also some of the network’s classic live-action series. Beyond that, the network isn’t giving any specifics, but new Nickelodeon senior VP of content development (and The Adventures Of Pete & Pete co-creator) Chris Viscardi says he has been reaching out to other creators of classic Nickelodeon shows to gauge interest. “We are in discussions with them now and will probably have more to say in the next few months,” he says. “There’s a good likelihood we’ll be doing more than just Arnold in terms of doing specials.”