At the Vimeo Theater inside the Austin Convention Center on Sunday morning, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane sat down for a wide-ranging discussion about his career — from the hit Fox animated series and his Grammy-nominated standards album to his upcoming feature film, “Ted,” with Mark Wahlberg — and told SXSW attendees a bit more about his upcoming television reboot of “The Flintstones.” In short: It’s happening, and — according to MacFarlane — it has “been fun” to bring Fred and Wilma back to life.
“It’s still in the early stages — I’m finishing a rewrite on the pilot,” MacFarlane said. “We’re trying to, essentially, stay true to what that show is. There’s something cool to me about, in 2013, turning on your TV and seeing ‘The Flintstones’ and having it look like ‘The Flintstones.’ There’s really not a lot about that show — other than the references to 1960s America, which really come through in the writing more than the visual — that needs to be changed visually and stylistically. They invented the template that we’re using in animation. We kinda want to keep it, more or less, the same. The stories that we tell will be a little more current.”
In that regard, MacFarlane said that while “The Flintstones” will certainly have some degree of edge, it won’t be like “Family Guy.”
“It’s a balance. We’re kind of shooting for the level of edge in mid-’90s ‘Simpsons.’ You’re not going to see abortion jokes,” he said with a laugh.
Later, while speaking to The Huffington Post, MacFarlane said he understands the responsibility he has with taking on such a beloved franchise such as “The Flintstones.”
“It’s like being handed the keys to a very old expensive car,” he said. “You want to be careful not to be Ferris Bueller with it. It was the first thing I drew, when I was two years old. It’s a nice, full-circle thing.”
Is MacFarlane worried about sullying “The Flintstones” reputation?
“My thought was, I can’t [screw] it up any worse than ‘Viva Rock Vegas.'”
For more on MacFarlane’s feature debut, “Ted” — which premiered roughly ten minutes in total of new footage on Sunday — head over to Moviefone.