Twisted Metal
Series logo
Genre
Based onTwisted Metal
by Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developed byRhett Reese &
Paul Wernick and
Michael Jonathan Smith
ShowrunnerMichael Jonathan Smith
Starring
Music by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10
Production
Executive producers
  • Michael Jonathan Smith
  • Rhett Reese
  • Paul Wernick
  • Anthony Mackie
  • Will Arnett
  • Marc Forman
  • Jason Spire
  • Kitao Sakurai
  • Peter Principato
  • Asad Qizilbash
  • Carter Swan
  • Hermen Hulst
CinematographyJames McMillan
Editors
  • Michael Giambra
  • Heather Capps
  • Travis Sittard
Running time23–32 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkPeacock
ReleaseJuly 27, 2023 (2023-07-27) –
present (present)

Twisted Metal is an American post-apocalyptic action comedy television series developed by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Michael Jonathan Smith. Based on the vehicular combat video game franchise published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, the series stars Anthony Mackie, Stephanie Beatriz, Joe Seanoa , Will Arnett and Thomas Haden Church.

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, John Doe, a talkative milkman with amnesia, is given a mission to traverse the desolate United States to deliver a mysterious package with unknown contents. He faces a life-altering opportunity but must confront ruthless marauders in deadly and destructive vehicles to secure a chance at a better future.

Development by Sony Pictures Television and PlayStation Productions began in May 2019 with a full season being ordered by Peacock in February 2022. The first season filmed in New Orleans from May to August 2022, and was released on Peacock with all 10 episodes on July 27, 2023. A second season was greenlit in December 2023 and is set to film in Toronto in late 2024.

Cast

Main

Recurring

Guest

Episodes

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"WLUDRV"Kitao SakuraiTeleplay by : Michael Jonathan Smith
Story by : Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick and Michael Jonathan Smith
July 27, 2023 (2023-07-27)
In a post-apocalyptic world after a large-scale cyber attack, cities have become walled fortresses. Criminals have been exiled outside the cities and live in a lawless area. Outside of the cities, some individuals work as milkmen, and transport goods between cities. One milkman, John Doe, is transporting goods to New San Francisco, and meets with the Chief Operations Officer of the city, Raven. Raven asks John to retrieve a package from New Chicago, in exchange for citizenship in New San Francisco. Raven introduces John to her husband, Noah, and child, Dove, and treats him to a nice dinner. After John leaves to retrieve the package, Raven reveals that her offer has been a setup, and she does not have a child or a spouse. Outside of the cities, a brother and sister, Loud and Quiet, are fleeing from Agent Stone and his deputy, Shepard. They are apprehended, and given the choice for one of them killing themselves or they both die. Loud kills himself, and Quiet is branded. John travels through Las Vegas on his way to New Chicago when he encounters Quiet, and realizes that she had previously tried to break into his car. They begin to fight, but decide to team up after they are pursued by a psychopathic clown, Sweet Tooth.
2"3RNCRCS"Kitao SakuraiMichael Jonathan SmithJuly 27, 2023 (2023-07-27)
Quiet and John flee from Sweet Tooth in Las Vegas, when they're fighting again over a car. They retreat into a casino, and Quiet flees into a vent. John is apprehended by Sweet Tooth, who insists that John must see his show. Sweet Tooth reveals that Quiet is also his prisoner, but John convinces him to release her. Sweet Tooth puts on a show and asks for their feedback; he becomes angry when John compliments him. Quiet, who had previously acted as if she was mute, criticizes the show. Sweet Tooth appreciates their honesty and releases them. Outside of Las Vegas, cannibals are preparing to eat former security guards, Mike and Stu, when they are rescued by Agent Stone. Stone offers them the chance to join his unit if they kill people attempting to steal supplies. After they join Officer Stone, Mike and Stu are at a checkpoint that John and Quiet attempt to drive through. Quiet recognizes Shepard, who was present when Loud killed himself, and tries to attack him. Quiet and John are both stunned and apprehended.
3"NTHLAW1"Jude WengGrant DekernionJuly 27, 2023 (2023-07-27)
John and Quiet are apprehended at Hoover Dam and brought in for questioning. Agent Stone is curious about John's map, which shows a route to New Chicago that avoids all of Stone's checkpoints. Stone orders for John and Quiet to be killed, but they convince Stu not to kill them and escape together. Stu brings John back to his car, while Quiet kills Shepard and learns that Stone has traveled to Topeka. The three of them try to flee together, but Stu is injured by the car and is captured by Mike. John and Quiet flee, and she asks him to take her to Topeka.
4"WHZDARE"Maggie CareyShaun DistonJuly 27, 2023 (2023-07-27)
While traveling to Topeka, John and Quiet are apprehended by a group of survivors living in trucks. Their captor, Watts, introduces them to an elderly woman, Granny, and asks John to retrieve a flower in exchange for his weapons for his car. He travels to meet Watts's old lover, Amber, who is suspicious on them and plans to kill him and Quiet. Quiet convinces Amber that they are trying to help Granny, and Amber lets them leave with the flower. They are pursued by religious fanatics and hide in a movie theater. John washes Quiet's jacket, which upsets her as it still has blood from her dead brother, Loud. They return the flower to Granny, who adds it to tea that she drinks to kill herself. The survivors have a funeral for Granny, Quiet forgives John, and the two of them leave for Topeka.
5"CRZSRDS"Jude WengFrancesca Gailes & Jacqueline J. GailesJuly 27, 2023 (2023-07-27)
Following their departure from the convoy, John and Quiet recover their stolen items from the Vultures and subsequently get hold of two grape drinks, causing John to pass out as his drink was poisoned using an herb from Amber's home by Quiet, wanting to kill Stone on her own. Meanwhile, at the dam outpost, Stu is awaiting execution, whereas Sweet Tooth raids the outpost, killing all of Stone's henchmen and freeing the death row prisoners; causing them to be inspired to join him on a killing spree and raid all the other outposts. Stu selflessly refuses to let Mike die, although he betrayed him earlier. Quiet infiltrates a police car and disguises herself as one of Stone's agents. She starts to suffer hallucinations of her late brother, Loud. Her cover is soon blown due to her bionic finger forcing her to go head-to-head with Stone in battle; nevertheless, Stone overpowers her and attempts to kill her using machine guns. Just then, John, having missed Quiet, appears and shoots Stone with his only missile. Quiet, weak from her injuries blacks out and John starts carrying her to safety.
6"DRVTHRU"Maggie CareyAlison TafelJuly 27, 2023 (2023-07-27)
While waiting out a storm in the Astral Burger, a former fast-food restaurant, Quiet is angry that John did not kill Stone, but then they have sex in the restaurant's ball pit. Quiet reflects upon her former life; she and Loud worked picking oranges, and Quiet got them a contract to work for four years of indentured servitude in a human settlement in exchange for beachfront property. Three years later, Quiet and Loud both work in the OC community, where servants are abused, including amputations as punishment. Quiet's middle finger was removed by her master and worn on a necklace. At the Astral Burger, she encounters Loud, who works there. An active shooter outside causes the restaurant to be locked down, and Quiet sneaks away to talk to Loud. They are discovered by the manager, who promises to punish Loud. Outside, the active shooter is a servant who screams that the promise of getting land is a lie, and she is shot by law enforcement. That night, the manager cuts off Loud's ear and prepares to hand him over to law enforcement, but the two officers and the manager are killed by Quiet, who has escaped from her master. The two flee the settlement. In the present day, Quiet and John bond, and they drive toward New Chicago.
7"NUTH0UZ"Bill BenzAlyssa ForleiterJuly 27, 2023 (2023-07-27)
Sweet Tooth and other escaped prisoners arrive at an asylum. Sweet Tooth takes Stu to his old cell, where he reveals that he was a former child actor, named "Marcus Kane", who killed a dog on his show out of jealousy. After the collapse of society, he locked his mother and stepfather in his cell. He destroys their skeletons, and he and Stu find the rest of the prisoners have been killed by Stone, with Mike working for him. Mike goes to ensure everyone is dead but is captured by Sweet Tooth. John and Quiet arrive in New Chicago where they go into an underground room and receive the package from Calypso. On their drive back, they stop at a milkman rest stop, where they encounter Mary, one of John's former lovers. She is jealous of his relationship with Quiet and learns that John is conducting this run to get into New San Francisco. She informs the other milkmen, and a fight over his package begins. John and Quiet kill everyone else and escape. As they leave, a woman sends a message to Stone informing him of their destination.
8"EV3L1N"Bill BenzTeleplay by : Alyssa Forleiter & Alison Tafel
Story by : Ify Nwadiwe
July 27, 2023 (2023-07-27)
In a flashback, a child John has a bad car accident and is unable to remember details about his life. While trying to survive, he discovers Evelyn, an orange rally-style sports car. While staying in Evelyn, he survives an encounter with cannibals and drives to a salvage yard, and works on his car. In the present, Quiet and John stop to look for a photograph that fell out of his car. While they are away, several Holy Men steal Evelyn. John and Quiet chase after them to the Holy Men encampment, where they are led by Preacher. John challenges Preacher to a fight, which he loses and is imprisoned. Quiet steals a car and rescues John, but he insists he must retrieve Evelyn. Quiet leaves while John returns to his car, where he fights Preacher again. Preacher shoots the car's gas tank, and the car explodes in a resulting fire. The Holy Men flee, and John creates a memorial for Evelyn.
9"R04DK11"Kitao SakuraiGrant Dekernion & Becca BlackJuly 27, 2023 (2023-07-27)
John finds a car at the Holy Men encampment and flees. Quiet has an accident and is rescued by Watts's convoy. On board, she reconnects with John. She admits that she is upset that he chose Evelyn over her, and he insists that he considers her an equal partner. The convoy comes under attack from Stone's men. After armoring up and weaponizing their new car, John and Quiet decided to name it "Roadkill". The convoy drives into Stone's blockade; Stone's men prepare to attack them but are surprised by the arrival of Sweet Tooth, who fires missiles at them.
10"SHNGRLA"Kitao SakuraiMichael Jonathan SmithJuly 27, 2023 (2023-07-27)
During a showdown at a racetrack, John and Quiet defeat Stone and leave him with the option of death by suicide. Sweet Tooth tries to get Stu to kill Mike, but Stu shoots Sweet Tooth instead and leaves him for dead. John and Quiet return to New San Francisco and deliver the package to Raven. John attempts to bring Quiet into New San Francisco but is not allowed to. He announces that he won't enter either, but Quiet shoots him to force him to be taken into New San Francisco and leaves. A month later, John is bored with his life in the settlement, and Quiet is stealing deliveries from milkmen and giving them to people outside settlements. John says that he wants to leave, and Raven takes him to his childhood home. She tries to convince him to stay, but he insists on leaving. Raven has John held at gunpoint and tells him that he will be her driver in a tournament with other cities to win the ultimate prize from Calypso. Outside the city, Quiet's car is hindered by a team of masked women; their leader reveals that she is John's sister. Stu and Mike relax on a beach and are surprised when Sweet Tooth arrives; he kills Mike and drags Stu away.

Production

Development

In May 2019, during an investor relations presentation, Sony Pictures Television confirmed that a television series based on the video game series, Twisted Metal, was in "advanced development" alongside PlayStation Productions.[1] By February 2021, the series was announced with Will Arnett, Rhett Reese, Michael Jonathan Smith and Paul Wernick on board to executive produce. Smith serves as showrunner and wrote the series based on an original take by Reese and Wernick.[2] In February 2022, the half-hour action-comedy was greenlit by Peacock.[3] The following month, Kitao Sakurai joined the series as an executive producer in addition to directing multiple episodes.[4] On December 7, 2023, Peacock renewed the series for a second season.[5]

Casting and characters

In September 2021, Anthony Mackie serves as one of the executive producers and was the first to be cast. He plays John Doe, a "smart-ass milkman" with amnesia, who gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, if he can survive the onslaught of vehicular combat.[6] In May 2022, Stephanie Beatriz and Thomas Haden Church were cast in starring roles as Quiet and Agent Stone, respectively. Quiet is a car thief that forms an antagonistic bond with John Doe.[7] Agent Stone is described as "a cold and unyielding post-apocalyptic highway patrolman who rules the roads".[8] Neve Campbell was cast in a recurring role as Raven.[9]

In June, Will Arnett joined the cast, voicing the character Sweet Tooth from the video game series.[10] Sweet Tooth is a "hulking killer in a ghoulish clown mask who prowls the streets of "Lost Vegas" in his weaponized ice cream truck".[11] Pro-wrestler Samoa Joe physically portrays Sweet Tooth.[12] In an interview with Screen Rant, when asked how pro wrestling history influenced his performance, he said "I think the biggest thing was kind of learning to work beyond the mask, which is something you very commonly see in wrestling. From the luchadores of old to our modern highflyers today, having the ability to kind of emote beyond essentially having a dead face is something that was very easy for me to do, especially with this character".[13]

Richard Cabral was cast as Beatriz's overprotective brother, Loud.[14] Tahj Vaughans and Mike Mitchell portray best friends, Mike and Stu.[12] Lou Beatty Jr. plays Tommy, "a grizzled and weathered cartographer who knows the dangers of the Wild Midwest".[12]

For season 2, Anthony Carrigan joined the main cast as Calypso, while Richard de Klerk, Patty Guggenheim and Tiana Okoye have recurring guest roles.[15]

Filming

Season one began principal photography in May 2022 in New Orleans and wrapped that August.[16][17] It had an estimated budget (before tax incentives) of $45 million.[18] Shooting in New Orleans in the summer came with some challenges. Michael Jonathan Smith told NOLA.com in an interview, "We dealt with lightning delays, hurricane threats, extreme heat and cars that wouldn't do as they were told".[11]

Production for season 2 moved to Toronto, Ontario. Filming is scheduled to take place from July 17 through November 19, 2024.[19]

Music

The score was composed by Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson, which they drew heavily from 2000s nu-metal.[20]

Release

Twisted Metal premiered on Peacock on July 27, 2023, with all 10 episodes released together.[21] Paramount+ picked up the streaming rights for Canada and the United Kingdom[22][23] (the show premiering in the latter region on March 21, 2024[24]), while it is streamed on Stan in Australia.[25] It was also released on HBO Max in October 2023.[26]

Reception

Critical response

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 67% of 49 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6/10. The website's consensus reads: "An enjoyable blast of cartoonishly violent mayhem, Twisted Metal sometimes struggles to flesh out its source material, but ultimately offers an adaptation with surprising depth."[27] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the first season a score of 55 out of 100, based on 22 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[28]

Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter gave the first season a positive review saying, "It's a bit odd for any series to spend a season opening up its world only to set up a seemingly less expansive (if more expensive) second season, but fans will probably be happy. Generally, Twisted Metal is fast and fun and definitely won't be in the running for any Emmys, much less 24. And that's OK!"[29] Variety's Alison Herman gave a negative review, "The story of Twisted Metal is thin and packed with tropes; it's still an undertaking to get there from no story at all. The rest of the industry should ask whether that effort was worth it before the next wave of game TV starts to break".[30]

Daniel Kurland of Bloody Disgusting gave the series a two and half out of five rating. He wrote, "Twisted Metal is dumb fun that's big, broad, and unabashedly bloody. It's nowhere near the level of The Last of Us or even SyFy's Blood Drive, but it's campy escapism that doesn't ask much of its audience".[31]

The series was nominated for "Best Adaptation" at The Game Awards 2023.[32]

Viewership

After two weeks, the series became Peacock's "most-binged" comedy premiere to date. According to Nielsen data, it was one of the most watched streaming originals, with 400 million viewing minutes in the weekend following its premiere.[33]

References

  1. ^ Marks, Tom (May 21, 2019). "Twisted Metal TV Series Confirmed in Development at PlayStation Productions". IGN. Archived from the original on August 5, 2020. Retrieved February 2, 2023.
  2. ^ White, Peter (February 22, 2021). "Twisted Metal Videogame Getting TV Adaptation From Will Arnett, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick & Michael Jonathan Smith". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 13, 2022. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  3. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 28, 2022). "Twisted Metal: Peacock Lands Live-Action Video Game Adaptation Starring Anthony Mackie With Series Order". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 1, 2022. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  4. ^ Cordero, Rosy (April 19, 2022). "Twisted Metal: Kitao Sakurai To EP & Direct Anthony Mackie-Led Peacock Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 13, 2022. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  5. ^ Cordero, Rosy (December 7, 2023). "'Twisted Metal' Scores Season 2 Renewal At Peacock". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 8, 2023. Retrieved December 8, 2023.
  6. ^ Kroll, Justin (September 15, 2021). "Anthony Mackie To Star As John Doe In Live-Action Twisted Metal Series From Sony TV And PlayStation Productions". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 15, 2021. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  7. ^ Cordero, Rosy (May 13, 2022). "Twisted Metal: Stephanie Beatriz Joins Cast Of Peacock's Live-Action Video Game Adaptation". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 13, 2022. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  8. ^ Petski, Denise (May 19, 2022). "Twisted Metal: Thomas Haden Church Joins Peacock's Live-Action Video Game Adaptation". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 5, 2022. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  9. ^ Cordero, Rosy (May 20, 2022). "'Twisted Metal': Neve Campbell Cast In Peacock's Live-Action Video Game Adaptation". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 31, 2022. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  10. ^ Petski, Denise (June 1, 2022). "Twisted Metal: Will Arnett To Voice Sweet Tooth In Peacock Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 2, 2022. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  11. ^ a b Carde, Leslie (January 4, 2023). "Anthony Mackie stars in TV version of video game Twisted Metal, shot in New Orleans". NOLA.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2023. Retrieved February 2, 2023.
  12. ^ a b c Cordero, Rosy (June 2, 2022). "Twisted Metal: AEW's Joe Seanoa To Play Dual Role Of 'Sweet Tooth' Voiced By Will Arnett; 3 More To Recur". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 2, 2022. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
  13. ^ Hermanns, Grant (July 26, 2023). "How Sweet Tooth Actor's Pro Wrestling History Influenced His Twisted Metal Show Performance: "Work Beyond The Mask"". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on July 26, 2023. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  14. ^ Cordero, Rosy (June 2, 2022). "Twisted Metal: Richard Cabral Sets First Post-Mayans M.C. Role With Peacock Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 2, 2022. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
  15. ^ Hailu, Selome (June 20, 2024). "Twisted Metal Season 2 Casts Barry Star Anthony Carrigan as Calypso (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved June 20, 2024.
  16. ^ "Productions". Film New Orleans. Archived from the original on June 22, 2022. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  17. ^ Onder, Cade (August 27, 2022). "Twisted Metal TV Series Wraps Filming". ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2023. Retrieved February 2, 2023.
  18. ^ "Fastlane NextGen: Initial Certification Search" (Type "Twisted Metal" in the search box). Louisiana Economic Development. Archived from the original on June 15, 2020. Retrieved January 14, 2023.
  19. ^ "What's Shooting". ACTRA. Archived from the original on May 10, 2024. Retrieved May 10, 2024.
  20. ^ Danoff, Dan (July 24, 2023). "Twisted Metal Drops High-Octane New Track "Chased By A Clown" [Exclusive]". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on July 25, 2023. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  21. ^ Franklin, McKinley (April 28, 2023). "Twisted Metal Teaser: Anthony Mackie Revs His Engine in Latest Video Game Adaptation on Peacock". Variety. Archived from the original on April 28, 2023. Retrieved April 28, 2023.
  22. ^ Goldbart, Max; Ntim, Zac; Goodfellow, Melanie (July 20, 2023). "Paramount+ Picks Up Twisted Metal In Canada; Piers Morgan RTS Cambridge; Venice VR Lineup; Deauville To Fete Schatzberg; Banijay Italia Partnership; Grierson Shortlist – Global Briefs". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 20, 2023. Retrieved July 20, 2023.
  23. ^ Elliott, Dave (January 17, 2024). "Paramount+ UK Picks Up Anthony Mackie Action-Comedy 'Twisted Metal'". Geektown. Retrieved January 17, 2024.
  24. ^ Square, Push (March 21, 2024). "Twisted Metal's TV Show Finally Available to Stream in the UK". Push Square. Retrieved March 21, 2024.
  25. ^ Douglas, Nicole (July 25, 2023). "The full trailer for the video game adaptation of Twisted Metal is here". Nine Entertainment. Archived from the original on July 25, 2023. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  26. ^ Universal, El (October 19, 2023). "Twisted Metal, la serie de ciencia ficción de HBO Max que lo atrapará de inicio a fin". El Tiempo (in Spanish).
  27. ^ "Twisted Metal: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  28. ^ "Twisted Metal: Season 1". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  29. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (July 26, 2023). "Twisted Metal Review: Anthony Mackie and Stephanie Beatriz in Peacock's Fast, Fun Video Game Adaptation". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 26, 2023. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  30. ^ Herman, Alison (July 26, 2023). "Even With Action Vet Anthony Mackie, Twisted Metal Is a Poor Fit for a Video Game Adaptation: TV Review". Variety. Archived from the original on July 26, 2023. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  31. ^ Kurland, Daniel (July 27, 2023). ""Twisted Metal" Review – Bloody Peacock Series Spins Its Wheels for a Dumb Joy Ride". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on July 27, 2023. Retrieved July 28, 2023.
  32. ^ Spangler, Todd (November 13, 2023). "The Game Awards 2023 Nominations: Alan Wake 2, Baldur's Gate 3 Lead the Pack With Eight Noms Each (Full List)". Variety. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  33. ^ Campione, Katie (August 9, 2023). "Twisted Metal Sets Audience Record For Peacock Comedies, Earns Spot Among Streamer's Top Originals Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 9, 2023. Retrieved August 9, 2023.