Sony is bringing back its Twisted Metal franchise, but this time it’s going to be a TV show, not a video game. According to Variety, the show is moving ahead in its production, with the writers of Deadpool and actor Will Arnett signed on as executive producers.
The Twisted Metal games center mainly around getting in a heavily armored car and blowing other drivers up. The series, which the head of PlayStation Productions calls “one of the most beloved franchises from PlayStation,” started on the original PS1 and got releases on the PS2 and PS3 as well (though my personal favorite was the PSP version, which I sunk hours upon hours into). The series went dormant during the years of the PlayStation 4, however, with no signs of a console comeback any time soon.
The show’s plot synopsis reads like a cross between Mad Max and Death Race, with a car thief and vague protagonist having to fight down highways to deliver a package. It’s also rumored to include Needles Kane, the terrifying clown whose face or ice cream truck (named Sweet Tooth) grace the cover of pretty much every game in the series. If you’ve been bummed that Twisted Metal: Apocalypse never saw the light of day, maybe this TV show will scratch that itch.
While the idea for the series seemingly came from Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who wrote the Deadpool movies, the actual writing was done by Cobra Kai’s Michael Jonathan Smith. It seems like the show will be going for a comedic (but probably not lighthearted) tone, with Sony Pictures’ Glenn Adilman, the company’s executive vice president of comedy development, calling the script “action-packed [and] brilliantly funny.”
The return to the property comes after a long drought: the first Twisted Metal game came out in 1995, and the most recent one was released in 2012 for the PlayStation 3. It’s a bit strange that Sony is making a television show about a franchise that hasn’t seen a release in almost a decade — especially since one of the flagship PS5 games is Destruction AllStars, which has the same theme of vehicular violence. That’s not to say that AllStars should’ve been a Twisted Metal game, just that it might be a bit awkward if the Twisted Metal show and Destruction AllStars were stopped at a red light next to each other.
It’s unclear when the show will come out, but it probably won’t be any time soon — it seems like it’s just now cleared to start production. It’s also worth noting that Sony has tried to make a Twisted Metal movie before, which was announced in 2012. In 2017, the man who was supposed to have directed it said that it fell apart because Sony didn’t want to spend the amount of money needed to make it feel like, well, Twisted Metal. Hopefully the show will get the budget, otherwise fans may wish they had heeded the lesson Twisted Metal games always end on: be careful what you wish for.
If and when the show starts hitting screens, it’ll likely be part of Sony’s first wave of PlayStation-based film and television content, including the upcoming The Last Of Us HBO show starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, and the Uncharted movie staring Tom Holland and Antonio Banderas.