Fresh off closing a deal with Marvel Studios to star in his first superhero film as Captain America, Anthony Mackie has signed on as the lead for the new Twisted Metal series. Sony Pictures Television and PlayStation Productions are developing the show, which is based on the popular vehicular combat games of the same name.
According to Deadline, insiders say Sony TV and PlayStation Productions are extremely high on the package and a plan is in the works to take it to buyers soon. “We’re thrilled to have Anthony Mackie on board,” said head of PlayStation Productions Asad Qizilbash. “His ability to blend comedy, action, and drama is perfect for the Twisted world we’re creating.”
Twisted Metal is described as a high-octane action-comedy based on an original take by Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The half-hour live-action series will see Anthony Mackie take the lead as John Doe, a smart-ass milkman with no memory of his past, who talks as fast as he drives. The story will follow this motor-mouthed outsider who is offered a chance at a better life.
But there’s a catch. He has to successfully deliver a mysterious package across a post-apocalyptic wasteland first. With the help of a trigger-happy car thief, he must face savage marauders driving vehicles of destruction and other dangers of the open road. This includes a deranged clown who drives an all too familiar ice cream truck (who fans of the game will know as Sweet Tooth).
Cobra Kai writer Michael Jonathan Smith will write and executive produce the series. Reese and Wernick are attached as executive producers. Will Arnett and Marc Forman, through their production company Electric Avenue, will executive produce along with Peter Principato/Artists First. Anthony Mackie, his longtime manager Jason Spire from Inspire Entertainment, Qizilbash and Carter Swan (PlayStation Productions) and Hermen Hulst (head of PlayStation Studios) will also executive produce the series.
Speaking to Deadline about the Twisted Metal project, EVP of Comedy Development at Sony TV Glenn Adilman said, “We’ve been big fans of Anthony Mackie’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.”
The Twisted Metal series of games was launched in 1995 as one of the earliest titles for the original PlayStation. Players could choose one of several characters, who drove different vehicles decked out with deadly weapons, to take down other combatants. The last game in the series was released in 2012 for the PlayStation 3. As of October 2000, the series has sold 5 million copies. Moreover, several versions of the games in the series were re-released as part of the Sony Greatest Hits program. The original game and its first sequel were also released on PC.
Meanwhile, Anthony Mackie has been having a very successful run in Hollywood as of late. He reprised his role as Sam Wilson/The Falcon in the Disney+ hit series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which set several records for the streamer. Before that, he appeared as Sam Wilson in multiple films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most notably Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, as well as the Avengers movies. The Marvel star will also take up the mantle of Captain America in Captain America 4.