Peacock’s Twisted Metal series is shaping up to be a post-apocalyptic mash-up of fun.
The series, a live-action adaptation of the classic PlayStation video game, was announced in 2019, and some inside looks to the final product are finally here. Carter Swan, a Senior Producer at Playstation Studios, spoke to IGN about how the show looks to represent the games as best they can.
“You gotta have the cars, you’ve gotta have the post-apocalyptic setting,” Swan said. “There’s a lot of characters that we thought were great. Obviously, Sweet Tooth has been announced and I think will be a very iconic character in the show. He’s being voiced by Will Arnett, played by the wrestler Samoa Joe, who did an unbelievable job. When you think of that game, the first thing that kind of pops into my head is the ice cream truck, that’s the piece that’s been marketed all these years.”
In fact, back in late August, the show wrapped production and celebrated with, of course, some Sweet Tooth ice cream. The series is created by Deadpool scribes Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese and stars Anthony Mackie as an amnesiac, post-apocalyptic outsider tasked with delivering a mysterious package across the wasteland.
“The creators of the show, Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, Rhett is a huge, massive fan of the game,” Swan explained. “So, really trying to take those elements from like those things that they do, and that time, and that style. They’re able to kind of take these violent, ridiculous things and make them fun. Zombieland’s a good barometer if you look at what happens in that movie as to what we could do. Their whole thing is you can have fun in the most apocalypse.”
Twisted Metal: The Cast of the Live-Action Series
The appreciation for the games amongst the crew doesn’t stop with Reese and Wernick, though.
“Michael Jonathan Smith’s our showrunner, who’s one of the big writers on Cobra Kai, and he was a massive fan of the game and wanted to make it fun, even when it’s dark,” Swan said. “But, it does have moments of stakes where bad things happen, and you do feel emotional about it… but the game is just such balls-out fun and craziness, so we’re trying as best we can to capture all that.
“It was an important game to me because I absolutely love that franchise. When it was out, I used to play it at my friend’s apartment up in their game loft and pass out at night, playing it like every night, every time a new one came out. So again, trying to build towards storylines down the road…”
Due to the simplistic plot and apocalyptic nature of the show, fans thought the series may resemble the classic Mad Max series from George Miller. According to Swan, the show changed its approach early on.
“We all thought having a battle royale in Season 1. It’s fun, but it’s hard to get to know the characters, and it’s hard to get to know the world’s story if you’re bound to one place,” he said. “Thunderdome’s the third movie in [the Mad Max] franchise after they’d thoroughly established what’s happening. So you want to take time to build this world, build these characters.”
He continued: “I can’t wait for people to see Anthony Mackie in the show, he’s playing John Doe. It’s such a different character for him, along the lines of those fun, irreverent, never-take-anything-seriously characters that Wernick and Reese do so well.”
The Twisted Metal series is one of many new video game adaptations from Playstation as the company looks to surge into the movie and television business. The studio is also behind a Ghost of Tsushima film adaptation with John Wick creator Chad Stahelski on board. An HBO series adaptation of The Last of Us starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey is set to hit television screens in mid-January, as well.
Carson Burton is a freelance news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter at @carsonsburton.