Invader Zim debuted on Nickelodeon in 2001. Thes how starred an alien, Zim, who landed on Earth with plans to conquer it and win points with his own alien race. It turned out Zim actually wasn't very good at the whole conquest thing, but he and his companion, the robot GIR, proved a charming pair as they attempted to assimilate into the human culture to learn more about their would-be subjects.
The new Invader Zim movie will bring back several members of the show's original voice cast: Richard Horvitz as Zim, Rikki Simons as GIR, Andy Berman as Dib, and Melissa Fahn as Gaz. The Invader Zim TV movie will have a 90-minute runtime and begins with Zim hatching a brand new scheme to conquer Earth.
Invader Zim only ran for two seasons on Nickelodeon but has enjoyed continued popularity with a dedicated fanbase, selling more than its fair share of merchandise from Hot Topic and other outlets.
Invader Zim is the third popular animated series that Nickelodeon will revisit in the near future. The first is Hey Arnold!, which will return to Nickelodeon for Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie later in 2017. Nickelodeon has also announced plans for a similar Rocko's Modern Life TV movie special.
Invader Zim was greenlit by Nickelodeon as an attempt to capitalize on an older audience, but budgetary concerns led to a cancellation during the show's second season, scrapping plans for more season two episodes and a TV movie. Several produced Invader Zim episodes never made it air, but those episodes were included on the DVD releases in 2004 and 2006.
Despite the financial issues that led to the series' cancellation, Invader Zim was met by nearly unanimous critical praise. The series won an Annie Award, an Emmy Award, and a World Animation Celebration Award. It was nominated for six Annie Awards in total and a Golden Reel Award.
Invader Zim's cult following proved to be strong enough to spawn its own convention. Called InvaderCON, the event ran for three consecutive years and count cast members, writers, animation crew, and Vasquez himself as guests.
In 2015, Oni Press launched an Invader Zim comic book series with Vasquez himself on board as a writer. The series continues today, having released Invader Zim #18 in March 2017. Invader Zim #8 even adapted the idea for an unproduced Invader Zim episode, "When Pants Ruled!"