Is a HEAT VISION AND JACK Animated Series in the Works?
Only if we’re really, really lucky.
I first discovered Heat Vision and Jack – a failed TV pilot by Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab – for the first time back in 2011 (see Pilot episode). A true television oddity, Heat Vision and Jack starred Jack Black as astronaut Jack Austin and Owen Wilson as the voice of Jack, Austin’s former roommate turned loud mouth motorbike. Ben Stiller was set to direct the series with guest stars like Christine Taylor and Ron Silver.
Sadly, the pilot was never greenlit. According to Schrab in 2004:
I’ve always wanted to make a low-budget sci-fi action show. I have a great love for Dr. Who and Old-school Star Trek and Dan was super gay for Knightrider and Automan. I guess, in a way, we all were. So we sat down one weekend and wrote the first draft of Heat Vision and Jack.
We turned in the pilot. It looked nice. We were proud. And awaited FOX’s reaction. [...] And then, it was over. We never got an explanation why we didn’t get picked up. We shot the script FOX agreed on. They never gave us notes. All they said was “We asked you to make a really weird show and you sure did.”
Fast forward to last week and Harmon, who’s been working on Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty reveals during a Reddit AMA that there just might be hope yet for Heat Vision and Jack… in the form of an animated series.
They’re trying to develop a Heat Vision and Jack cartoon right now, I believe…Schrab and I kind of “sold” the idea to a studio but after a while, we backed out of it creatively and they hired writers to take it over, because it felt like they wanted Bob’s Burgers but with a motorcycle. I say that never having seen Bob’s Burgers and knowing that it’s good, I’m just saying, do it with a burger, that’s working fine already, don’t do it with a motorcycle.
Harmon doesn’t reveal any details as to who “they” are or when to expect any further news, but one can only hope that this falls in the hands of a studio like Titmouse (Metalocalypse, Venture Bros.) or Starburns Industries (Rick & Morty, Frankenhole).