This is simultaneously the weirdest yet most logical moment for a Twisted Metal TV show. The vehicular fighting game, which debuted in 1995, is the most Mountain Dew-guzzling, Mortal Kombat ape twisted 1995 sometime, and probably for that reason, there hasn’t been a new installment in the series since the PS3 reboot in 2012.
Yet here we are, on the precipice of Peacock’s Twisted metal show, developed by the team behind it deadpoolwritten by Cobra Kai‘s Michael Jonathan Smith, and starring Marvel’s new Captain America, Anthony Mackie. In the first clip from the show, which premiered during the 2023 Summer Game Fest stream, we see exactly what the show has to offer in our first look at Sweet tooth, the murderous spokesperson for the franchise, embodied by professional wrestler Joe Seanoa and voiced by Will Arnett, who also produces the series. Wild. This exists! Wild.
According to Twisted metal game makers David Jaffe and Scott Campbell in the twisted and incredibly entertaining mini-doc Twisted Metal: The Dark Past (what, like us all know, was included as a bonus feature on 2008’s Twisted Metal: Head-On: Extra Twisted Edition), the idea for Twisted metal came to them during the classic bumper-to-bumper traffic in Los Angeles when they imagined how twisted it would be if they could use missiles to blast the cars to freedom. The rest is ridiculous history, contrary to expectations: Sony originally wanted to turn the Twisted Metal concept into a pizza delivery game, and after finally persuading the company to adopt a more twisted violent concept, Sony Japan had endless notes. Late in development, according to Campbell, Japanese executives wondered if the guns on the cars could fire fruits and vegetables. That did not go down well. A murderous clown does not eat fruits and vegetables, but eats blood!! Jaffe and Campbell eventually got their way, and the rest has been rated M-for-adult history.
By the 2000s, Twisted Metal was so popular that rumors of a Twisted Metal movie actually made sense! Campbell even pushes the idea into the The dark past doctor — wouldn’t it be great if this crazy maxinspired game on the big screen? It didn’t, but not without years of trying; in the 2010s, Crane‘s Brian Taylor actively tried to push it forward.
The Twisted metal The TV show comes at a time when almost no one is thinking about the Twisted Metal games, but every studio is thinking about video games. The last of us was a mega hit for HBO; The Super Mario Bros. movie did what the 1993 movie couldn’t (be good most of the time and make huge bucks); Sonic the Hedgehog is a movie star and Knuckles is getting his own streaming series. This is the world, and Twisted metal is poised to still be the most imaginable of 1995. Which just might work if any other game adaptation feels the need to go the prestige TV or straight-up MCU route.
Showrunner Michael Jonathan Smith is certainly passionate. In a letter to the press to announce the arrival of Twisted metalSmith wrote the following:
The year was 2001. Weezer had welcomed fans to an island in the sun. Shrek was an all-star at the box office. Pizza Hut delivered a salami pizza to the International Space Station. And I was a sixteen-year-old nerd who had just bought Turned metal: black. As soon as I popped that disc into my PlayStation 2 I was transported to a chaotic demolition derby that made me cackle with joy at the chaos of it all. That inescapable feeling of joy is what I wanted to bring to life in our show.
Yes, Twisted metal has the cars, it has the guns and it has the fighting. But what it also has is people. I know you’ll fall in love with these characters and what makes them tick, no pun intended (okay, maybe a little on purpose). You’ll be cheering for our charismatic hero John Doe, played by Anthony Mackie, as he drives across the Divided States of America in search of a place to belong. You’ll laugh as an enigmatic woman named Quiet, played by Stephanie Beatriz, turns John’s world upside down after a chance encounter, forcing the two to work together and changing their lives for the better. You will support our heroes to take down the psychotic highway cop Agent Stone, played by Thomas Haden Church, who sees the world in black and blue. And you’ll discover a surprising soulfulness in our deranged, murderous clown Sweet Tooth, voiced by Will Arnett and performed by Joe Seanoa, aka wrestler Samoa Joe.
This is a crazy show about insiders and outsiders, and how our own special apocalypse has divided and isolated us more than ever. But there is hope. You can find your people and your community. You may have to drive past a terrifying clown driving a well-armed ice cream truck to find them.
The big question is whether Smith can translate this well twisted story all these years later. In The dark past, Jaffe attempts to describe the “soul” of the Twisted Metal universe. “It’s American,” he declares. “It’s rock and roll, it’s underdog, it’s scrappy, it’s heavy metal.” Not exactly what the developers and studios milling about at this year’s Summer Game Fest are chasing. So it’s either the worst or perfect time for it Twisted metalwhich sounds like just the kind of commitment that the people love Twisted metal would oppose.
I mean, it has to be better than the scrapped live-action endings of the original Twisted metal game, right?
Twisted metal premieres on Peacock on July 27.
Follow Us on Google News