Jon Heder played Napoleon in the movie Napoleon Dynamite. He appeared on a panel at Comic-Con on Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 2 p.m.
The cast of the morosely comedic-turned cult classic Napoleon Dynamite reunited at Comic-Con on Thursday to present the rebirth of the film into an animated show.
"It's really going to broaden the story and open it up like crazy. It'll give us a chance to see other sides of the Dynamite family," said Sandy Martin, who plays the grandma in the film and the show.
The show, which explores the lives of the characters before the film, will be produced
by the movie's directors, Jared and Jerusha Hess.
Jon Heder, who plays Napoleon Dynamite in the movie and the show said it will be "like Napoleon Dynamite meets The Simpsons," which is no surprise -- Mike Scully, executive producer of The Simpsons will also be a producer.
Most of the original actors will be the voices of the characters, which is key in the show's success, Heder said.
"The film was funny because it took its time. It was that deadpan humor, which is hard to do in cartoon form. So with the show, we're just going to hold onto those characters."
Jon Gries, who plays Uncle Rico in the film and show said that while filming the movie, the actors took their roles very seriously, and didn't expect it to reach the comedic proportions that it did.
"There was no laughing on set. We approached the film as if we were filming Schindler's List," Gries told an audience of fans at the panel discussion.
Later, Gries said the show will be funny because it draws on the original humor of the movie.
"We created this style. And we're going to play it like the stakes are high."
The auditorium for the panel was completely full. Fans dressed as the characters and met the actors after the question and answer session.
Fourteen-year-old Serena Romaya saw the movie when it came out 7 years ago and fell in love with the characters and their jokes. She said after meeting the cast today she's excited about the show but hopes it won't get as over-quoted as the movie did.
"It's kind of a classic," she said. "I just don't think they should overdo it."
Treats for fans who showed up for the panel discussion included a preview of the show's pilot -- which airs at in the beginning of the 2012 Fox season.
Heder also revealed to fans that he speaks fluent Japanese and gave his best impression of a Japanese Napoleon Dynamite, followed by a trademark, "Duh.