It seems like lately, ’90s properties are having their moment. The hilarious sitcom Fresh Prince has recently gotten a revamp as the drama-filled Bel-Air. Sex and the City has taken the story to new lengths with its new saga And Just Like That. So it only makes sense that one of the most favorite adult animated series of the late ’90s, Daria, gets its chance at reboot-love with a spin-off film titled Jodie.
Daria was an American animated sitcom that navigated the trivial nature of high school and centered around Daria Morgendorffer, an intelligent but cynical high schooler. The show was a spin-off based on the characters introduced in Mike Judge’s previous animated series, Beavis and Butthead. However, that seemed to be the extent of Judge’s involvement in the series. The show was quite popular amongst a younger audience and ran for five seasons from 1997 to 2002. There were also two TV movies and two TV specials.
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When the show ended, it was met with melancholic cries from audiences and even critics. G.J. Donnelly of TV Guide wrote of the show’s finale, “I already miss that monotone. I already miss those boots…Even at its most far-fetched, this animated [show] approaches the teenage experience much more realistically than shows like Dawson’s Creek.” Slate’s Emily Nussbaum also discussed the show’s end, stating that “the show is biting the dust without ever getting the credit it deserved: for social satire, witty writing, and most of all, for a truly original main character.”
Here’s what we know about the Jodie so far!
Jodie: The Plot
While the new film will not feature the original lead, Jodie is set to showcase all the things audiences loved about Daria, just for a new, wider audience. Initially, though, the film was set to be a Comedy Central series featuring both Daria and her best friend Jodie when announced in 2018. However, in 2019 it turned into a standalone series about Jodie and, more recently, has settled on an animated feature that will be released by MTV Entertainment Studios. The Paramount extension has found success previously with animated films as it recently has put out two standalone South Park films on Comedy Central and its streaming platform.
The new film will center around Daria’s friend from high school, Jodie. Jodie will be the first adult animated film to star a Black woman in 20 years. The synopsis provided by MTV states:
“Jodie Landon as she leaves college, moves to a gentrifying city, and begins a job at Firstfinity, a mysterious Google-like tech company.”
Jodie: The Relevance
The world of Daria has always related to its viewers really well. The show’s creator and writer Grace Edwards (Insecure, 2016), told Huffington Post that she wanted to make the film for Gen Z as Daria was for Gen X.
“We’re gonna see Jodie Landon, who used to be the perfect Black teen, come to a whole other environment and realize that she was the big fish in the small pond. And now she’s a small fish in the ocean. It’s about her just growing into being an adult in a different environment than Lawndale where we get to see the 360-degree, full, three-dimensional character.”
Jodie started in Daria as one of the few Black students in her school and therefore was the voice for many Black issues. Edwards hopes to expand on the character and give her a moment to shine for audiences who were a fan of the recurring character back in the day.
Jodie: The Cast & Crew
The film will be directed by Deborah Espect, who recently served as producer on the TV miniseries As We Are (2018), for which she was also a writer and producer. She will also join Grace Edwards in her writing duties. The film will be produced by Andromeda Godfrey (Bridgerton, 2020) and Diana Juhr-De Benedetti. Godfrey is known for her acting work but has in recent years taken to producing. This will be Benedetti’s feature debut as a producer. The film will also be produced by MTV Entertainment Studios.
As for the cast, it was recently announced that the incredible Tracee Ellis Ross would be lending her voice to the title role. Ellis Ross is the daughter of Motown recording artist extraordinaire Diana Ross. She is also a star and icon in her own right, with work on the hit television series Girlfriends (2000-2008) and Black-ish (2014-2022). She has received ten NAACP Image Awards for her work and a Golden Globe Award in 2017. The actress and singer will also serve as producer for the film.
She is joined by fellow actors Pamela Adlon (Better Things, 2016-), Cole Escola (Search Party, 2016-2022), Jojo T. Gibbs (Fresh, 2022), William Jackson Harper (The Good Place, 2016-2020), Zosia Mamet (The Flight Attendant, 2020-), Alex Moffat (Saturday Night Live, 2016-), Dermot Mulroney (Hanna, 2019-2021), Arden Myrin (Insecure, 2020), Kal Penn (Designated Survivor, 2016-2019), Kofi Siriboe (Girls Trip, 2017), Dulće Sloan (Chick Fight, 2020) and Heléne Yorke (The Other Two, 2019-).
At this point, there is no information on the release date of the animated feature.