‘The Jetsons’: Kanye West Could Have (Maybe) Had a Major Role in a Related Project

In the early ’60s, an American family living in the late 21st Century made its way into millions of American homes. The Jetsons was an animated series set far off into the future, and although the exact year is never explicitly mentioned, some experts estimate that the family lived in 2062.

In so many ways, The Jetsons was a pop culture phenomenon and was well ahead of its time. The tv show seemingly predicted several technological advancements which we can see today, such as robots, smartwatches, and jetpacks.

Interestingly, rapper Kanye West tweeted in 2012 that he was almost a part of the project. The tweet sent fans into a frenzy, wondering what role West would have played in the futuristic animation series.

The premise of the show

The Jetsons followed the lives of an average American family living in Orbit City. Orbit City featured the Googie style architecture, which involved high above-ground buildings supported on adjustable columns.

The patriarch of the family is Georgie, and the matriarch is Jane. George and Jane live in Skypad Apartments with their two children, Judy, 15, and Elroy, 8. Other family members are Astro, the family dog who once belonged to a wealthy businessman, and Rosie, an outdated household robot model who the Jetsons adore and wouldn’t trade for another.

George works at Spacely’s Sprockets under Cosmo Spacely, his boss. Jane is a homemaker and a dutiful and loving wife. Jane had Judy when she was 18 and now tries to make life as comfortable as possible for her family. Judy shows typical teenage interests consisting of a love for fashion and hanging out with boys.

Rosey takes care of the household chores and the kids. She is seen as an authoritative but loving robot and sometimes dispenses medication to the family. The household robot only appeared in two episodes in the original show but made more appearances in the remake in the ’80s.

The Jetsons aired at a very tricky time

While The Jetsons had a really good and entertaining concept behind it, the ABC network executives had overlooked one minor detail about the show. The Jetsons premiered in 1962, and at the time, only about three percent of American households had access to color tv.

This means that the rest of the show’s viewers had to watch the show in black and white. Although the plot was entertaining, it is safe to agree that The Jetsons is best viewed in color. Without the amazing and vibrant colors that made the show stand out, Orbit City was just another animated city.

The lack of color at the time led to the series’ eventual cancelation after only airing for 24 episodes. However, the show was renewed in the ’80s, and audiences got to enjoy the events happening in Orbit City with a bright and new colorful perspective.

Since the Jetsons lived in the future, they might have predicted some inventions that we can now see and access. A good example is tanning beds. When the show aired, tanning beds weren’t a thing. Friedrich Wolff created the invention in 1978 after realizing how great tanned skin looked.

West almost had a pivotal role in the project

Kanye West
Kanye West | Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Since the early 2000s, a script for a live-action remake of the show has been under development. Some directors even came forward to direct the movie in 2003, including Adam Shankman and Robert Rodriguez. In 2012, Evan Susser and Van Robichaux were tasked with writing the movie. In 2015, producers announced that the live-action remake would be made into an animation, tasking writer Matt Lieberman with completing the script.

According to Mental Floss, rapper and businessman Kanye West, while on his infamous 2012 Twitter rant, said he was discussing becoming a creative director for the upcoming Jetson movie. In an interview, the movie producer Denise De Novi said that the studio had been in communication with West about contributing as an artist.

De Novi said that he thought West’s interest in the movie was on a musical level, but West was more interested in the movie’s art and architecture. De Novi affirmed that West wasn’t the creative director but admired his passion for the Jetsons movie.