Sony’s Twisted Metal TV show, an adaptation of the video game series starring Falcon actor Anthony Mackie, will debut on the Peacock streaming service and is officially labeled as a comedy. Early last year, we heard the vehicular combat-themed show was in the works and being produced by Will Arnett and helmed by Michael Jonathan Smith. On Monday, we learned that each episode of the PlayStation Productions show will be 30 minutes and will attempt to make audiences laugh.
It’s understandable if your memory of the Twisted Metal video games is a bit hazy — the first one was released in 1995, and we haven't gotten a new one since 2012. As a refresher, they mainly center on driving around a heavily armored car and trying to defeat others who are doing the same. One of the game’s mascots is a terrifying clown with a flaming head who drives an ice cream truck. It seems like he’ll be featured as a character given Peacock’s synopsis of the show:
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. 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.
There were definitely signs that it would be a comedy last year — a Sony Pictures in charge of comedy development said the script was “brilliantly funny” — but it was hard to tell if it was going the route of jokey-action like many Marvel movies or would be a comedy with action included. While it’s still not entirely clear how it’ll turn out, it being explicitly labeled a “live-action comedy” makes it seem like the emphasis will be on the jokes.
Despite the announcement of where you’ll be able to watch the show, there’s no release date available yet. That’s the case with some of the other PlayStation Productions projects, too: when we’ll finally see the show based on The Last of Us is still unclear (though it probably won’t come out this year), and details about the Ghost of Tsushima movie announced last year are still pretty scarce.
We have, however, seen the Uncharted movie, starring Tom Holland, which premiered in theaters earlier this month. It seems to be a very your-mileage-may-vary experience; I saw it with people who weren’t fans of the games, and they loved it. I thought it was a fun-ish time that, unfortunately, did the games a disservice, while my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore wrote in his excellent review that it “might have been better kept in the drafts.” (To be fair, isn’t “it should’ve been left alone” the lesson at the end of most Uncharted games?)
That’s not to say that Twisted Metal will have the same reception — so far, we’ve really only seen one thing from PlayStation Productions, so it’s hard to make any real judgments. With all the names and talent attached, though, it does appear the show is speeding ahead. Let’s hope it doesn’t wreck, like the Twisted Metal movie seemingly did after it was announced in 2012 and never released.