'Invader Zim' is returning to Nickelodeon as a TV movie

Get ready for new "Invader Zim." After more than 10 years off the air, Nickelodeon's animated alien bent on conquering Earth is set for a comeback.

The network has given the green light to a brand new "Invader Zim" TV movie from series creator Jhonen Vasquez that will include original cast members Richard Horvitz, Rosearik Rikki Simons, Andy Berman and Melissa Fahn reprising their roles.

“What makes this announcement extra thrilling is the adventure that Jhonen has created for Zim,” said Chris Viscardi — Nickelodeon's senior vice president of content development and production, animation — in a press release. “I can promise you that it is as wonderfully absurd and strangely heartfelt as any fan of the original series could hope for, and kids seeing it for the first time will love it too.”

"Invader Zim," which debuted in 2001, follows the adventures of incompetent yet overconfident alien invader Zin (Horvitz), who's on a mission to conquer Earth for the Irken Empire. Joining him on this quest for world domination is GIR (Simons), a taco-loving robot that dresses like a dog.

Despite Zim and GIR's subpar disguises, the only humans who realize they are extraterrestrials are school-aged paranormal investigator Dib (Berman) and his disinterested sister Gaz (Fahn).

Vazquez will serve as the executive producer for the 90-minute "Invader Zim" movie.

"Invader Zim" joins "Hey Arnold!" and "Rocko's Modern Life" as the third fan-favorite animated series Nickelodeon is reviving as a TV movie. The "Hey Arnold!" movie is slated to air some time in 2017.

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Invader Zim is returning to TV with a new movie after more than a decade off the air (update)

Invader Zim, one of the strangest, most endearing series Nickelodeon released in the early aughts, is finally going to return to television in the form of a new TV movie.

Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Nickelodeon is moving ahead with the project, putting the series in the same category as Hey Arnold! and Rocko’s Modern Life, which are also getting TV movies from the network. It’s all a part of the network’s devotion to celebrating 25 years of Nicktoons and providing new content for fans of the original series who are now in their 20s and 30s.

Invader Zim followed an alien named Zim who arrives on Earth with imperialistic ambitions to essentially conquer the human race and take over the planet. The series, which was applauded for its satirical take on society at the time, only ran for two seasons, but it developed a core group of fans who still love it to date.

Richard Horvitz (Zim), Rikki Simons (GIR), Andy Berman (Dib) and Melissa Fahn (Gaz) will return for the film. Back in 2013, show creator Jhonen Vasquez tweeted that “Zim is still cancelled forever,” but the creator uses the account to continuously talk about the series.

There’s no estimated release date for the movie, but Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie will be released later this year and the film based on Rocko’s Modern Life is currently in production. Early concept art of the Hey Arnold! movie was shown off during Nickelodeon’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con last year.

Invader Zim is currently available to stream on Hulu.

Update: Nickelodeon confirmed today creator Jhonen Vasquez is involved with the movie.

Update 2: The first teaser for Invader Zim’s TV movie has been released. It can be seen above.

Invader Zim will return to TV “soon-ish” with creator, original cast

Invader Zim, the Nickelodeon animated series that ran for two seasons in the early '00s, will end its longtime television absence "soon-ish." The cable network announced its intentions on Tuesday in the form of a dry press release and a far-less-dry animated teaser. In the teaser, Zim, the series' neurotic titular alien, announces his evil intentions under the veil of darkness—and then is interrupted by his longtime robo-pal Gir.

"I like your voice!" Gir chuckles mid-video. "It's funny!"

"I'm not BEING funny!" Zim retorts. "I'm being, you know, terrifying and spooky!"

The original voice actors for Zim and Gir, along with their human rival Dib and his aloof, annoyed sister Gaz, are all on board for the project, as is series creator and longtime cartoonist Jhonen Vasquez, Nickelodeon says. The only announced content in this new deal is a single 90-minute "TV movie" that will once again pit the aspiring paranormal investigator Dib against an alien who does a terrible job hiding his true identity from an incredibly stupid populace. (Be warned: if this movie is interrupted for normal TV commercial breaks, the runtime would be closer to 66 minutes.)

That Zim even made it on the air is pretty incredible, considering Vasquez's most popular comics at the time, printed by Slave Labor Graphics, were Johnny The Homicidal Maniac and Squee. These books told stories about an astounding number of psychotic, nonsensical murders (complete with gallons of blood and plenty of entrails). Zim turned the dial down on Vasquez's propensity for violence, but not on his other books' skepticism and sarcasm—and those elements blended nicely with Vasquez's quirky, children's show twist on The X-Files' formula.

Zim hasn't really gone anywhere, by the way; it was reborn as a comic book series, printed by Oni Press, in 2015. Its 18th issue will be out later this month. Vasquez has been involved in that series, as have other former Zim animators, particularly the talented and hilarious Aaron Alexovich (whose own comic series, Serenity Rose, is a must-read for anybody from the old SLG and Zim camps).

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