A Cartoon About Rick Moranis That Almost Was – /Film

the gatekeeper

We all miss Rick Moranis. We miss him so much, in fact, that when he randomly pops up in a commercial for a Canadian phone company – as he did last week – we all lose our damn minds. Moranis has been on hiatus from live-action movies for 23 years – his wife, Ann Belsky, died in 1991, and Moranis decided to take time off to raise his family in the wake. But he’s continued doing voice work here and there and is even planning on returning to live-action roles with an upcoming Honey, I Shrunk the Kids sequel. And while that’s all well and good, something even more exciting has been revealed: someone pitched Adult Swim a cartoon featuring Moranis as the main character. And, oh yeah, the cartoon had Moranis fighting demons.

The Gatekeeper

In 2017, the folks at Rare Bird Games learned that Adult Swim was having a pitch contest at San Diego Comic-Con. At the very last possible minute (while waiting in line), they came up with their idea – a show called The Gatekeeper, where it turns out actor Rick Moranis is secretly “the gatekeeper between our world and hell itself.” News of the show broke today on both Reddit and the AV Club.

The plot involves a teenage character discovering a box of cereal tied-in to the release of the 1997 movie Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. The box contains a contest that enables the winner to actually meet star Rick Moranis, and while the contest is clearly out-of-date, there’s no expiration date. The teen enters, wins, and, sure enough, heads off to Alberta, where Moranis is hiding out and defending our world from evil. And oh yeah, there’s a giant praying mantis character named “Morantis.”

It’s an undeniably delightful idea, so much so that Adult Swim actually went for it. The team at Rare Bird Games, working with artists including Joshua Barish from Rick and Morty, spent the next year developing the show. Sadly, Adult Swim ultimately passed on the idea because “they felt nobody would know who Rick Moranis was.”

Had the show gone forward, there’s no indication that Rick Moranis himself would’ve voiced himself. But hey, we can still dream. In addition to the video above, you can check out some concept art for the show here.

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