Seth MacFarlane reveals 'Family Guy' movie plans
Oscar host Seth MacFarlane came to the basement classroom full of UCLA college kids to make one announcement — that they and other students across the country are eligible for a new contest that could bring them to the Academy Awards stage this year.
But MacFarlane (who’s also one of EW’s Entertainers of the Year) ended up making an even bigger revelation during a Q&A session with the wannabe film pros — he has a story in place for a Family Guy movie.
His appearance at the class Wednesday was filmed by the student-themed mtvU as part of its “Stand In” series about guest professors, and was designed to kick off The Oscar Experience College Search. “Basically, they’re looking for students who are interested in pursuing careers in the film industry,” MacFarlane said. “You enter this search, you win a trip to L.A.”
The UCLA kids had a good laugh at that one, while a chagrined MacFarlane explained, “Yeah. Okay. All right …”, that this was a nationwide contest, people. “And you get to go up onstage and help me hand out some Oscars,” he said.
That’s right, guys and gals — YOU could be one of the folks onstage handing Oscars to presenters during the ceremony.
Those interested in becoming one of the approximately six participants during the Feb. 24 telecast should seek out more information on the Academy’s official Facebook page. Applicants just need to fill out a form, and upload a 30 second video answering the question: “How will you contribute to the future of movies?”
The plan was created by Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron as a way to make young filmmakers feel connected to the show. “We wanted everyone appearing on that stage to feel a deep commitment to film and its legacy and, most importantly, its future,” they said in a statement.
NEXT PAGE: As MacFarlane took questions from the students about his career in television and the movies, one question about whether there would ever be a Family Guy movie got a surprisingly definite response …
WILL ‘FAMILY GUY’ EVER BE A MOVIE?
MacFarlane has toyed with this idea for a number of years, and the show has done some direct-to-video specials. But it has also been a long time since he has discussed it. Now, he reveals, it’s basically a sure-thing.
“It’s just a matter of when,” MacFarlane said. “It’s hard to do that while you have the series going on at the same time; I think that’s why it took The Simpsons 20 seasons to figure out how to do it.”
After the blockbuster success of his R-rated stuffed-bear movie Ted this summer, MacFarlane is in a good place to start pushing whatever film projects he likes. And he revealed that he already has a story in place for Family Guy’s move to the big screen.
“We do know what the Family Guy movie will be. The Simpsons movie, I thought, was hilarious, but the one criticism I would have is that it’s a story they probably could’ve done on TV. There could’ve been an episode that had that plotline,” he said. “That’s the challenge with animation. You pretty much can do any story you want, so what is the reason for the movie? We finally hit on the answer to that question, and it will be something that would be impossible to do on TV.”
Does that mean that the story is so epic, it transcends the small screen? Or that he is planning something so crass and rude that it’s not fit for the airwaves?
MacFarlane already said too much. “I can’t tell you what that is,” he said, to disappointed groans from the students.
He went on to take some questions about his upcoming Oscar-hosting duties.
NEXT PAGE: Asked about hosts from the past that were considered flops, MacFarlane surprised again by revealing … he kind of likes the ones everybody else hated.
OSCAR HOST ON ‘NOBLE FAILURES’ OF PAST
When asked about James Franco’s less-than-successful turn as emcee, MacFarlane said he actually admired some of the past hosts who got slammed by critics.
“The people who have not done well, I would classify every single one of them as a noble failure, as an honorable failure, because at least they were trying something new,” MacFarlane said.
“Letterman was not well received when he hosted the Oscars,” he went on. “But I loved it. I remember watching that and thinking, ‘He’s doing something fresh,’ which is always a good thing. That’s going to be the challenge. And if I can do it without torpedoing my career and getting drummed out of the business … then that would be good, too. All I can do is work my very best.”
He thought for a minute, looking at the quiet faces of the students, then added: “That’s a lame f–king answer. Sorry.”
For more on the Academy Awards show