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Wash. U. alums selected to write ‘The Jetsons’ movie

| Cadenza Reporter

Courtesy of Warner Brothers
Former Wash. U. students Evan Susser and Van Robichaux have taken their talents from the bubble to Hollywood and have just signed a deal to write a script for a live-action movie version of the famous cartoon “The Jetsons.”

The Susser-Robichaux team began in Los Angeles when the two were writing and performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Theatre. However, they first met when Susser came for the WUTV pre-orientation session and Robichaux introduced him to the campus. They later took Introduction to Screenwriting with Richard Chapman, which they said greatly helped them in their young careers. While at Wash. U., Susser was one of the founding members of the improvisation group K.A.R.L., which gave him experience with performing. Robichaux praised his involvement in ThurtenE as a member of Theta Xi as preparation for the film industry, because it required a lot of work and the environment was competitive. Robichaux graduated in 2006 with a degree in film and economics and Susser graduated in 2007 with a degree in film and English.

Susser and Robichaux wrote a show at UCB called “What’s Going On? with Mike Mitchell,” but their biggest break came when one of their scripts was featured on the 2011 Black List, a list of the most-liked unproduced scripts in Hollywood. “Chewie”—their film about the creation of “Star Wars” from the perspective of Peter Mayhew, the man who played Chewbacca—ranked third on the list.

After “Chewie,” the boys generated great buzz around the film industry, which led to a meeting with Warner Brothers.

“We met with a Warner Brothers executive who asked if we were interested in ‘The Jetsons,’” Robichaux said. “It was funny because Evan and I, without looking at each other, both immediately said yes.”

“We were both huge fans of ‘The Jetsons,’” Susser said. “I remember the first time I saw moving walkways at the airport, I screamed, ‘It’s just like in “The Jetsons!”’”

Now, the lifelong fans will get to put their own spin on the beloved characters of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.

When asked about the pressure of adapting the famous characters, Susser said, “You don’t want to disappoint any fans, but you also want to explore them more.”

As for their original script, “Chewie,” they are working to get it made as well. The film will be much more difficult to make because George Lucas has all of the rights and is very protective of his characters, but Robichaux is hopeful something will happen with it.

“[George Lucas] hasn’t read it yet, but we think he might get to reading it soon and we’ll go from there,” Robichaux said.

Cartoons turned into live-action movies have had a poor track record so far. Flops include “Inspector Gadget” and “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle,” but “The Jetsons” has the potential to be a success. With an education from Wash. U., Susser and Robichaux seem like the perfect duo to make it work.