Nickelodeon announced August 2016 it had green-lit a one-hour TV special based on the 1993-96 Nicktoon classic Rocko's Modern Life. Titled Static Cling, the special one of a number of new retro revivals announced by Nick in the past few years, along with Hey Arnold! and Invader ZIM movies, and a Rugrats reboot. Creator Joe Murray was attached to the special, along with all of the original series' main cast and much of its crew.
The premise of the Static Cling special is said to involve Rocko and his friends returning to O-Town after 20 years living in outer space, and the resulting culture shock of life in the high-tech 21st century. Nickelodeon released a trailer at the 2017 Comic-Con International in San Diego.
From the trailer, it looks like the special faithfully recaptures the style and attitude of the original series. The animation looks the same as the old show, just upgraded to High Definition, and the satire of the smartphone era appears right in line with the original's cynically biting take on the pitfalls of Late Capitalism.
It's been quite the wait to see more of the special. It would be one thing if there were problems on the production side of things causing delays. The whole special, however, was reportedly finished in the Fall of 2017, as confirmed in Sept. 2018 blog post by Joe Murray that otherwise couldn't elaborate on any details about the special's release.
That same month, Murray responded to a fan's query claiming there is "something going on behind the scenes that I think everyone will be happy about that is delaying the airing of the special."
oh wait it apparently put on hold for very understandable reasons according to joe murray and could see a potential release alongside enter the florpus as well pic.twitter.com/n4RsmmBxLs— 💚JustSomeFattyYosh🦖 (@J_S_R_U_) September 7, 2018
As of this writing, however, Murray seems much less confident that the special will ever get released. On his personal Facebook page, he said that he's "praying that Nickelodeon haven't abandoned the film" and has approved a petition to try and convince the channel to release the movie.
When contacted by CBR, a Nickelodeon spokesperson said there are no updates available for Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling.
Other creators at Nick have expressed worry about the movie's fate and what it could mean for their own projects. Jhonen Vasquez, who has just completed production on the Invader ZIM movie Enter the Florpus, jokingly compared the channel's management to "that weird man from Shirkers," Sandy Tan's Netflix documentary about how producer Georges Cardona stole her work in the '90s.
Thinking about how long that Rocko’s movie has been done without being seen makes me wonder how long it will take for the ZIM special to show up. It’s been half a year since there was even any official mention of it. What if NICK is run by that weird man from SHIRKERS?— Jhonen Vasquez (@JhonenV) February 4, 2019