Hollywood’s quest to reinvent just about every legacy franchise imaginable continues this week after Fox Entertainment announced that it planned to reimagine the claymation characters for a new generation. And while we’ll have to wait for more info about the specifics, people had plenty of ideas about what Gumby’s future would look like.
The reality, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is a lot less surprising—and, depending on how you feel about NFTs, possibly a lot more annoying. In a press release written in Comic Sans, Fox announced that not only would it release NFTs of Gumby characters among other products, but it plans to create new live-action and animated content. It would also air classic Gumby episodes on Tubi. Fox obtained Gumby, which was created by Art Clokey, from the estate of his son Joseph.
“Competition for globally recognized intellectual property is fierce. Uncovering this gem, with its built-in awareness and affinity, and bringing it to Fox, adds meaningful value and creative possibilities to the IP itself and to multiple divisions of our company,” Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier said in a statement. “Fox is proud to be home to these iconic characters. Welcome one and all.”
Details of what those products and potential new content will look like are vague, although Fox said that it wants to “reimagine” Gumby for a new generation of viewers. But the news was largely met with varying degrees of mockery, such as the manner in which it was announced alongside plans for NFTs, which critics view as being a scam and bad for the environment.
But the endless possibilities of a Gumby reimagining—both the serious and the absurd—instead proved for more amusing fodder.
Apart from Saturday Night Live’s parodies that envisioned Gumby as a highly demanding actor, Gumby has historically been more kid-friendly. But several people took the potential of more Gumby in a much more adult direction.
Yes, that might mean that Gumby fucks now.
But some took a reimagined Gumby in the other (much more realistic) direction, one that so many modern reboots and revivals have taken to heart as of late. Given how successful some of them have been, is a dark and gritty Gumby—or one where the project is “about” trauma in the shallowest of ways—so far out of the possibility?
Is that stretching things a bit? Certainly. But if there’s one thing for certain, Gumby has always had enough leeway to get truly weird.