Monday, August 12, 2019

Latest 'Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus' Trailer Introduces an All-New, Horrifying Dib

Prepare your filthy human minds for impending doom! Netflix and Nickelodeon's Invader ZIM: Enter the Florpus, from original Invader ZIM series creator Jhonen Vasquez, will release on the streaming platform globally on Friday, August 16th, 2019! Check out the latest trailer for the brand-new movie below, and get set to SING THE DOOM SONG FOR ETERNITY!

The new trailer for Netflix's Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus reveals Dib Membrane has had quite a rough time since he last faced Zim. In the trailer, we see Zim come face-to-face with Dib, only to not recognize him. Instead, Dib is shown rolling around in a computer chair with unkempt hair and crust coming from his eyes and ears. Of course, it seems like Dib at least tried to prepare for battle with Zim, as he can be seen lifting weights and donning his classic black coat, but something bad clearly happened along the way.

Fans of the early 2000's Nickelodeon animated series Invader Zim will remember Dib as the eccentric paranormal investigator, who seemed to be one of the only people to realize -- or care -- that Zim is an alien.

The character is voiced by Andy Berman, who is a longtime actor and writer that has appeared in TV shows such as The Wonder Years, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, The Jamie Foxx Show and Psych.

Created by Jhonen Vasquez, Invader Zim premiered on March 30, 2001, running for 27 episodes over two seasons on Nickelodeon, winning an Emmy Award and an Annie Award for individual achievement in animation (which went to storyboard artists Kyle Menke and Steve Ressel, respectively) - and getting “The Doom Song” stuck in jillions of puny human heads. The series chronicles an alien named Zim who arrived on Earth from his home planet of Irk with imperialistic intentions of conquering the planet (in order to gain favor with his Irken home race). Wildly ineffective but hilariously earnest, Zim and his robot companion GIR attempted to blend in and study the human race while simultaneously trying to enslave it. Despite Zim and GIR's subpar disguises, the only humans who realize they are extraterrestrials are school-aged paranormal investigator Dib. Invader ZIM boasts a devoted fandom. The series is produced by Nickelodeon.

The 2D-animated TV movie, directed by Jhonen Vasquez and Jake Wyatt and produced by Nickelodeon in Burbank, will see original voice cast members Richard Horvitz (The Angry Beavers) and Rikki Simons return as fan-favorites ZIM and GIR, alongside Andy Berman as Dib Membrane and Melissa Fahn as Gaz Membrane. Additional voice actors reprising their original series roles include: Wally Wingert as Almighty Tallest Red; Kevin McDonald as Almighty Tallest Purple; Rodger Bumpass (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Professor Membrane, Dib and Gaz's father; Olivia d'Abo as Tak, ZIM's Irken nemesis; and Paul Greenberg as Poonchy, one of ZIM and Dib's human classmates, as well as Jhonen Vasquez, Eric Bauza, Breehn Burns, Justin Roiland, Fred Tatasciore, Jenny Goldberg, Mo Collins, and Michael McDonald.

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus will release on Netflix on August 16. Set phasers for DOOM! Watch the first trailer HERE!:

From Den of Geek:

Inside Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus! with Jhonen Vasquez

Jhonen Vasquez answered our questions about how Invader Zim has evolved but is mostly still about screaming jerks.

The existence of Invader Zim is unlikely in the first place. For some reason, Nickelodeon approached Jhonen Vasquez—a comic book author whose most famous work up until that point was a series called Johnny the Homicidal Maniac—and asked him if he wanted to make a kids’ cartoon. They regretted it almost immediately, but, even more unlikely, Zim went on to build a rabid cult following that endures over a decade later and which made possible the revival movie, Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus!.

We spoke to Jhonen and the Zim cast about the film last year in mostly vague terms but, now we’ve gotten a chance to see the movie, Jhonen was kind enough to email us answers to some deeper Florpus!-based questions. We got into some of the movie’s themes, how the Zim universe has evolved, how the Invader Zim comic book helped informed the content of the film, and how some Zim fans are scary.

There isn’t anything here that really qualifies as a spoiler, but, if you want to go in completely free of any spoiler impurities, wait until Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus! releases on Netflix on Aug. 16 and then come back and read this after. However, if you’re one of the less scary Zim fans, read on and enjoy!

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Den of Geek: Do you feel you went for an evolution of Invader Zim or in your mind was it more just like, “hey, here’s some more Zim?”

Jhonen Vasquez: Any evolution came from the need to find more structure for a significantly longer story as compared to, at most, 22 minutes of the original series as well as changes in myself over the years, but mostly this thing needed to still be Zim, and thus be "JUST MORE INVADER ZIM." No matter how much sense or not sense Invader Zim makes transplanted from back then to now, it had to be the thing it always was, and what it was and IS is a world of screaming jerks.

I know it was your intent to, like in the Zim comics, make Gaz, Dib, and Professor Membrane more of a family. Do you feel that along with that, there was an intent to add some hopefulness to the previously nihilistic Zim universe? If so, why did you go in this direction? Is it because you’ve changed as an artist or did it just feel right for Invader Zim to change at this point? Or did I watch the movie wrong and there’s no hope in it whatsoever?

Hopefulness? HOW DARE YOU, SIR?! Honestly, it was that runtime again. This thing was originally supposed to be 48 minutes, which was daunting enough but then Nickelodeon wanted it to be 60 minutes, and I thought holy crap that’s gonna be a LOT of screaming and hysterical anger! We made the Membrane family slightly more recognizable as a family in the comics and it carried over into the movie and it’s even more helpful in the movie where it gave me a bit more to play with, something to help define character dynamics a bit more than just “THEY’RE ALL ANGRY AND THEY’RE ALL YELLING!” They still yell a lot though. Sorry.

I have some other readings of the film. Please tell me which of these, if any, are correct:

- Enter the Florpus! is a biting satire of consumer culture.

There’s some of that, but it’s way less so than in the original idea.

- Enter the Florpus! is an allegory about how we all need to come together to save the world.

There’s maybe a passing mention of that, so I’ll give you that one.

- Enter the Florpus! is an allegory about how we all need to come together to destroy the world.


I’ve seen you say that, in your mind, Invader Zim has just kept going over all these years (plus, there’s the comic). So, when it came time to do the movie was it easy to fall back into the Zim style? Or did you have to watch the old show to get back in the mindset? Or were you not even worried about that and just thought whatever you came up with would be cool?

I didn’t watch much of the show to get going on the movie. I was fresh off a small run writing some of the comics, though, and the comics pull from the same place in my head as the show did, only a bit updated, so the only challenge was in finding the right story to justify the longer runtime. When Nickelodeon was asking about me doing more Zim, I kept repeating that I’d think about it, but that it couldn’t be born of just wanting to fill a demand for more Zim or to cash in on nostalgia - I basically said I’ll let you know if something cool pops up! That was the most important thing to me - feeling okay with WHY I was doing this, and there would be no doing it if I didn’t feel as excited as I am with anything else I do, regardless of who initially wanted to see this thing happen. Eventually a bunch of weird stuff popped into my head on a drive and I thought “I want to see THAT nonsense.”

How do you feel about the fan culture surrounding Zim these days? I think it’s fair to say you used to be somewhat wary of your fan base, perhaps not without some justification. How do you feel about it now? Which is scarier: Zim fans or Johnny the Homicidal Maniac fans?

I think about growing up, being a kid and a teenager and an annoying guy in my 20s who loved talking about composers and filmmakers and video games, and it’s weird to think of myself as being the subject of other people like that. I think fans run the gamut from some of the coolest people I have ever met to sociopathic monsters raised by internet wolves. Time has not done anything to lessen the darker side of fandom.

Oh, and Zim fans. JTHM was about a homicidal maniac, sure, but it’s also a book people had to find in comic stores and actually read. Television is a whole other universe, and is much easier to fire like a shotgun into the faces and minds of people, so you’re pulling in a much larger audience, and a larger audience means a greater chance of awful.

It seems clear in Enter the Florpus! that a significant amount of time has passed within the Zim universe, and yet, at the same time, none of the characters appear to have aged. How do you explain that, Mr. Vasquez? Just how old is Dib exactly?

Dib’s always been 11 or 12 in my head. In the movie he says he’s 12 years old. As for how I explain it I’d say it has something to do with wormholes or something appropriately spacey. Also, you know how dogs are so excited to see you when you get home? I figure time is a vast, screaming nightmare for dogs and their humans leaving for an hour or so is an eternity of unending torment for the dog, so, after an eternity has passed and the human comes home, the dog is INSANELY happy to see them. Time maybe works like that for Dib waiting for Zim to show up again, only without so much happiness.

As someone who’s dipped back into an older property to revive it, what are your feelings about the role nostalgia plays in the entertainment world currently?

Like I said before, nostalgia being the driving factor is a turn-off for me. I don’t go see things because I loved a thing in a previous incarnation. I know that people WILL talk about Zim in nostalgic terms, but that’s far off from why I made the thing. I just hope people can get over themselves or their hatred of fans they think were too annoying for they themselves to enjoy a thing (one of the most pathetic reasons I know for not liking a thing!). It’d be great to just hear that someone loved the movie, liked it or didn’t like it, based on what it is, not on what memories they had of themselves as terribly dressed teens, and what it IS is just MORE ZIM.

When Netflix inevitably approaches you for an Invader Zim revival series how will you respond?

I’ve been looking for an opportunity to try out this clone of me I made specifically for working in children’s animation while I myself work on things where people’s heads explode for a bit.

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus! will be available to stream on Netflix August 16th.



Jhonen Vasquez On Bringing Back Invader Zim With Enter the Florpus

Invader Zim has been off the air for more than a decade, and the character's return to animation is long overdue. Although Zim has appeared in comics since the Nickelodeon animated series ended in 2006, the full restoration finally comes to fruition in Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus, which arrives Friday on Netflix. Series creator Jhonen Vasquez spoke with CBR about what the return of Zim means to him, his distaste of nostalgia for nostalgia's sake, and what his dream ad campaign for the movie would have been.

Enter the Florpus quickly reintroduces audiences to the world of Invader Zim. After spending years biding their time, Zim (voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz) and GIR (Rikki Simons) have resurfaced with new schemes to take over Earth for the Irken Empire. The only person standing in his way is Dib (Andy Berman), a dork obsessed with everything paranormal, with the reluctant help of his sister Gaz (Melissa Fahn) and their father, the world-famous Professor Membrane (Rodger Bumpass).

Making sure the film was accessible to both old and new fans alike was important for Vasquez. "I hope longtime fans get a headache and have to see a doctor, and I hope new fans can just jump right in and not need to have watched the series to understand what they’re seeing," he said. "Knowing that the characters were going to stay true to themselves, I hoped old fans wouldn’t need things spoon-fed to them. Mainly the movie’s hyper-focused on just telling this story, and if you have never met these characters before you should get the gist of them and their situation within the first few minutes: This guy hates that guy, that guy hates this guy, this girl hates both guys but not always equally, that guy’s dad could be more supportive, that guy’s leaders couldn’t be less supportive, that robot is an idiot."

Contemplating the return of the character and his world to animation, Vasquez said the experience was a "glorious and an interminable nightmare!"

"You know that meme where they play the 'Welcome to Jurassic Park' scene from Jurassic Park with the music building, and then they cut to the No Man’s Sky footage with that awkward monster-thing walking on two stupid legs and there’s suddenly a kazoo playing the rest of the theme?" he said. "A lot of the time it’s a lot like that! It’s a real roller coaster of emotions and expectations being celebrated or absolutely annihilated, and it won’t end until the movie is actually out. Netflix just put up the trailer and title image up on their service and it’s pretty great to see that, like an official sign of this phase of my life ending!"

The film is willing to throw the main characters into new arcs, pushing them further than they've ever been. Enter the Florpus actually explores the emotional depths of the characters in ways the original show never had time to explore, showing them dealing with internal problems and learning to move past them along the way.

"With a longer format," Vasquez explained, "it was just more interesting going slightly elsewhere with how the characters are, never for too long, but enough to see them knocked out of their usual orbits a bit. The characters losing their mojo was something we went for in the series but never got to finish so it was fun to get around to it for the movie. Hopefully, it’s just funny and not jarring."

There have been plenty of recent revivals of old franchises, many of which end up getting lost in their own universes at the cost of setting up a new story. Vasquez wanted to be careful not to make the film just for longtime fans. In fact, movies that overindulge in that sentiment seem to be a pet-peeve for the creator.

"A thing I really didn’t want to do was make the movie about nostalgia. You can’t control how people will factor nostalgia into their expectations, but I’m pretty put off by reliance on it," he said. "When you see some guys from cantina scene from Star Wars focused on in a scene from Rogue One, instead of being thrilled I’m irritated and wish the filmmakers weren’t leaning on that kinda distracting crap. I’m already enjoying your movie, dammit, stop trying so hard! So I don’t know really what was thrown in just for people to remember stuff. I’m really glad to see Minimoose show just how powerful their acting chops are."

The animation landscape has changed since Invader Zim left television. Whereas the shock comedy and dark sci-fi made Invader Zim an outlier in its original run, shows like Rick & Morty have proved the audience is ready for darkly comedic takes on science fiction. Vasquez revealed the growing subculture didn't change how he thinks about the series, however. He said that his intention when producing the special "was just making more Zim! That’s been the driving idea from day one of working on this thing, to not make it a great big event for the ages any more than every episode of the series ... though it was a great big event for the ages.

"I always wanted the tagline for the marketing to be 'It's just more Zim!' Ideas like ‘dark’ don’t so much factor into why or how we make the show so much as this is the kind of stuff we thought was funny even while recognizing how awful a lot of it is. As a kid, I loved understanding that the things I was seeing weren’t exactly things I should be doing, and seeing characters act out this terrible stuff was fascinating and funny to me. I imagine kids like that are still out there!"

Directed by Jhonen Vasquez and Jake Wyatt, Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus stars Richard Horvitz, Rikki Simons, Andy Berman, Melissa Fahn, Wally Wingert, Kevin McDonald, Rodger Bumpass and Olivia d’Abo. The film arrives Friday on Netflix.


Brazilian Invasor Zim e o Florpus trailer:

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Originally published: Wednesday, August 07, 2019.

Original source:; Additional source: Reserva Cinéfila.
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