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The live-action Twisted Metal series now has its first star attached. Anthony Mackie will be playing series lead John Doe, a driver tasked with getting a package across a post-apocalyptic wasteland for an opportunity at a better life. He will also act as Executive Producer on the project. Mackie is known for his role as Sam Wilson/Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and more recently stepping up as Captain America following the Disney+ The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series).
Head of PlayStation Productions Asad Qizilbash is excited to have Mackie in the role. “We’re thrilled to have Anthony Mackie on board. His ability to blend comedy, action and drama is perfect for the Twisted world we’re creating.”
Twisted Metal is a live-action dark comedy adaptation of the game series, expected to have half-hour episodes. Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are adapting an original take on series about Mackie’s John Doe and an as-yet-uncast “trigger-happy car thief” set on a journey across a post-apocalyptic wasteland fraught with car combat to deliver a package. The dangers they will face include “a deranged clown who drives an all too familiar ice cream truck.” Whether or not the Twisted Metal competition’s proprietor, Calypso, will make an appearance remains under wraps for the time being.
In the games John Doe is the driver behind the wheel of Roadkill in Twisted Metal: Black and Twisted Metal: Lost. Much like the synopsis for the series, John Doe can’t remember his past and enters the Twisted Metal competition to find out who he really is. Whether or not the writers will take any additional inspiration from his story beats in Twisted Metal: Black is unknown, but knowing Twisted Metal, we can expect the conclusion of John Doe’s story to curl a finger on the monkey’s paw as his wish is twisted in some way.
“We’ve been big fans of Anthony’s phenomenal body of work over the years and knew he was the only actor who could play a character as complex, funny and compelling as John Doe. Fortunately for us, he agreed,” said EVP Comedy Development at Sony TV Glenn Adilman.
Twisted Metal has a mountain of Executive Producers, including writers Reese and Wernick, Cobra Kai writer Michael Jonathan Smith (who is also writing on this series), Will Arnett and Marc Forman via Electric Avenue, Peter Principato/Artists First, Qizilbash and Carter Swan from PlayStation Productions, Hermen Hulst from PlayStation, Mackie himself, and Mackie’s manager, Jason Spire.
Rumors have also persisted of a Twisted Metal game currently in production to coincide with the series. It’s unknown if the game will be a series tie-in, or its own independent thing used to co-market both the game and the series together as the series revives. The last game in the series was Twisted Metal on PS3 in 2012. It was criticized for how it deviated from the spirit of previous titles, eschewing characters and their unique cars and stories for a post-apocalyptic faction war, rather than a mysterious competition that seems to be run by the devil himself. It’s also unknown what development studio Sony would have behind the rumored Twisted Metal title. Former developer Eat Sleep Play went into mobile development following Twisted Metal PS3, and went defunct in 2017.
The Twisted Metal TV series doesn’t currently have an estimated release date.