Last week, Rick Moranis briefly came out of retirement to help fellow Canadian Ryan Reynolds advertise a phone company. It was a welcome surprise to see the comedy icon reappear, even if it was for less than a minute and in the service of selling stuff. We’ve now learned just how close we were to him returning through a different, far more involved project, though, thanks to a Reddit post, video, and gallery of images detailing a Rick Moranis-centric cartoon that never was.
The above clip comes from Rare Bird Games (the fine people behind the Seinfeld horror game) and shows a friend of Colton and Austin Stock named Albert describing the cartoon at Adult Swim’s 2017 San Diego Comic-Con pitch contest. (Impressively, they didn’t know the contest was taking place and thought up the concept “an hour before the show.”) The show—The Gatekeeper—would have starred an 18-year old who stumbles upon an old box of cereal with a winning ticket to meet Moranis in person. Seeing that it doesn’t have an expiration date, he’s brought to the the wilderness of northern Alberta to find that the retired actor has been working in seclusion as “the gatekeeper between our world and hell itself.” Moranis and the teenager join forces to continue the fight, joined by a colorful cast of characters that includes the comedian’s butler, a giant talking mantis called “Morantis.”
The team won the contest and then, according to the video’s YouTube description “spent the following year developing artwork with some amazing artists including Joshua Barish from Rick And Morty.” Though the show never came to be because Adult Swim ultimately “felt nobody would know who Rick Moranis was,” an Imgur page filled with concept art of a demon-slaying Moranis has been posted as a record of what could’ve been.
It’s too bad that the show was never made, but we can hope Adult Swim might consider reviving the project now. With Moranis set to return to acting in Disney+’s Shrunk, the 2020s might finally be the right time for a full-blown Moranissaince, cartoon and all.
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