The live-action Twisted Metal comedy television series, written by the pair behind Deadpool and Zombieland and set to star Anthony Mackie, will officially make its debut on Peacock.
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According to a report from The Verge, the Twisted Metal series will debut on Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service.
Officially listed under comedy – we expect a dark comedy – each live-action episode will run for 30 minutes.
“Twisted Metal, a half-hour live-action TV series based on the classic PlayStation game series, is a high-octane action comedy, based on an original take by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Deadpool, Zombieland) about a motor-mouthed outsider offered a chance at a better life, but only if he can successfully deliver a mysterious package across a post-apocalyptic wasteland,” reads an official series synopsis provided to the tech news outlet.
“With the help of a trigger-happy car thief, he’ll face savage marauders driving vehicles of destruction and other dangers of the open road, including a deranged clown who drives an all too familiar ice cream truck,” it concludes, teasing an appearance by series psychotic clown mascot Needles Kane and his ice cream truck Sweet Tooth.
Variety previously reported in February 2021 that the series would be developed by Sony Pictures Television and PlayStation Productions, with Reese and Paul Wernick penning the script for the action comedy. Cobra Kai writer Michael Jonathan Smith was also announced as a producer alongside LEGO Batman star Will Arnett.
“Twisted Metal’ is one of the most beloved franchises from PlayStation,” head of PlayStation Productions Asad Qizilbash told Variety at the time of the series’ reveal. “We are thrilled to have such a great team working on bringing this iconic game to life for the fans.”
“We love Twisted Metal in all its twisted insanity,” stated Executive VP of Comedy Development for Sony Pictures Television Glenn Adilman. “Michael Jonathan Smith hit it out of the park with an action-packed, brilliantly funny adaptation and we are grateful for the support of Rhett, Paul, Will [Arnett, executive producer] and our friends at PlayStation.”
In February 2022, sources told Deadline that the live-action series would star The Falcon and the Winter Soldier lead Anthony Mackie as the fast-talking, smart-alec amnesiac known only as John Doe.
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For those unfamiliar, the Twisted Metal series began in the 1990s, and tasked players with driving around arenas in armored vehicles, picking up weapons, and attempting to obliterate other drivers.
The series grew increasingly darker and more supernatural with each entry, as the game master Calypso’s promise to grant the winning driver any wish they desired eventually involved changes to reality itself. Some games saw these wishes play out like a deal with the devil or a monkey’s paw.
[DISCLAIMER: The following may be potential spoilers, as the games will likely inspire the plot of the series.]
John Doe is also a character from the games.
In 2001’s Twisted Metal: Black, Doe enters the Twisted Metal competition to learn who he is.
Should he win, his ending reveals that he was an undercover FBI agent sent to stop a bomb being detonated at a Center for Disease Control building. The explosion knocked him out, and as he regains his memory he remembers Calypso is also on the FBI’s wanted list.
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It should be noted that continuity between the games rarely consider any one particular character’s campaign ending as canon, and those who are shown dying are usually seen again in subsequent entries.
Nonetheless, John Doe in Twisted Metal: Lost is implied to be one of many “John Does”, all of whom are FBI agents who have been ordered to stop Calypso and the Twisted Metal contest.
[DISCLAIMER: Potential spoilers end here]
The last mainline game was in 2012 on the PlayStation 3. That same year a film was announced, set to be written and directed by by Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance co-director Brian Taylor. However, production on the project was ultimately halted.
In a later interview with Collider, Taylor explained of the film’s collapse, “It became like a ‘tweener. Sony came out with a new version of the game, didn’t really sell that well. So they had this property that was kind of like this ‘tweener.”
“It was a movie that felt like it needed to be $50 million, but they didn’t feel that the fanbase really merited that kind of movie,” he continued. “It really wanted to be more of a $15 million movie, but the nature of it with the set pieces would’ve just made it too big.”
A reboot of the Twisted Metal video game series has long been rumored. A VGC report from January 12th claims that, according to the outlet’s sources, PlayStation subsidiary Firesprite studio is currently developing the title after having taken the reigns from Destruction All-Stars developer Lucid Games.
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