Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
At New York Comic Con, Robot Chicken co-creator Matt Senreich spoke with a select group of journalists in advance of the Adult Swim show’s upcoming fifth season. Between new Christmas and Star Wars specials in addition to the new season, it’s clear that Robot Chicken isn’t slowing down — and according to Senreich, there’s no end in sight.
“We had a moment during our first season where we were like, ‘Well, we can do this forever,'” said Senreich. “We had that realization pretty early on: we’re playing with friends. Everyone on our staff we’ve known for ten years, for the most part. It’s just this nice eclectic group, and we had this moment of realizing that we’re a sketch comedy show like a Saturday Night Live, a Mad TV or anything like that. We just happen to use toys as our outlet. It’s one of those things where we can keep it going and rotate the crew and the staff, and as we grow, I think there are going to be different voices.”
Senreich believes that Robot Chicken can grow and evolve with new generations of action figure enthusiasts and genre lovers. In fact, it’s already happening. “We’re at the stage now where we have people working for us and everybody working for us is like, ‘Oh my god, I grew up watching your show! When are you going to play with Power Rangers and everything from the ’90s?’ It’s a whole new generation that’s existing,” he said. “We’ve had writers now on our show who are like 24 and come from that generation just after us. That’s how I think the show will continue on, that feeling of nostalgia and at the same time creating characters that have long lasting appeal. We’re just going to keep making it as long as they let us.”
But does the continued existence of Robot Chicken mean the end — or, at least, a severe delay — for Titan Maximum, Senreich’s stop-motion animated series about the adventures of Titan Force Five? Sadly, it appears that way.
“Robot Chicken production is eleven months out of the year. It’s a full time job. Add [the Star Wars specials] into the mix and it’s about 13 to 14 months of nonstop working on Robot Chicken,” said Senreich, explaining the delay in new Titan Maximum episodes. “What we did last time was we had a small break because [co-creator Seth Green] was going off to do a movie and be an actor for a little bit. I wanted to do something in that time, so we did Titan Maximum. We know what we would want to do for a second season, but the question is, when do I have the time to write something like that and actually get to focusing on it?”
Additionally, the much discussed Star Wars series that Senreich is developing with Green has cut into the pair’s busy schedule, making it even more difficult to find time to work on Titan Maximum. “It’s [a matter of] finding time,” he said. “I know exactly what happens — the episode after the finale is written — so we know what happens and it’s exciting, but will it ever be seen? When will it be seen? I love it. Those characters are passionate to both [Titan Maximum co-creator] Tom Root and myself, and we have every desire to get back to it.”
Senreich was asked to discuss the Star Wars project he’s creating with Green, but would only confirm that “it’s going to be CG” and it’s going to be “awesome.” Beyond that, he wouldn’t say much, for fear of being shot by a secretly placed Lucasfilm sniper — and, more realistically, of being misquoted.
“We say a lot of stuff about it and we’re misquoted everywhere,” said Senreich. “I was at the Clone Wars premiere and I said in passing, ‘Oh my god, working with George Lucas is a surreal experience.’ The next thing you know, it’s: ‘Matt Senreich Says The Show Is Going To Be A Surreal Experience!’ It’s like H.R. Pufnstuf!”
Recognizing that many diehard Star Wars fans are nervous at the prospect of a comedy series set in the beloved science fiction universe, Senreich did his best to assuage those fears: “If you like what we do on Robot Chicken, it’s going to be our sense of humor, but for all ages. It’s going to be something that we’re loving to do. We’re looking out for everybody. Everybody is so concerned with what it’s going to be because their initial instinct is to not like something, but we’re just saying, trust us. We’re going to do the best we can do with it. If you like our Star Wars specials, we know what we’re doing a little bit.”