Another videogame franchise joins the long, long list of those being used as raw material for a TV spinoff with the announcement that Sony Pictures Television and PlayStation Productions are creating a television adaptation of the Twisted Metal games – and helming the project are Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the duo behind Zombieland and the Deadpool film.
What’s the story?
The concept involves a ‘motor-mouthed outsider’ and a ‘trigger-happy car thief’ trekking across the post-apocalyptic world of Twisted Metal to deliver a package of some sort. What kind of package doesn’t really matter – it’s a MacGuffin to have them adventuring across the wasteland and getting in scraps with baddies, including the games’ recurring villain, maniac clown Sweet Tooth.
“Twisted Metal is one of the most beloved franchises from PlayStation,” said Asad Qizilbash, head of PlayStation Productions. “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,” said Glenn Adilman, executive vice president of comedy development for Sony Pictures Television. “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 and our friends at PlayStation.”
Along with Reese and Wernick, Michael Jonathan Smith, previously known for his work on Cobra Kai, is attached as a writer.
Once upon a time there had been plans for Twisted Metal to become a film, with Nicholas Cage attached as Sweet Tooth – a Cageian role if ever there was one. That project never came to be because Sony was hesitant to commit the budget necessary for a film in which lots of cars would inevitably be blown up, although those who saw the idea flop could be forgiven a twinge of annoyance when the similar-in-concept Mad Max: Fury Road went on to storm the box office not long after.
The first inkling of the TV version was announced in 2019, but having Reese and Wernick – two men already known for merry, dark-edged action comedies – attached presents a far more robust picture on the face of things, rather than simply ‘this game is going to be a TV show’. The could-have-been film version would have been written and directed by Brian Taylor, co-director of Crank and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, two more action-heavy and fairly cartoony projects which struck about the right tone for an adaptation of a game like Twisted Metal.
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