Spawn creator Todd McFarlane is teaming up with the producers of HBO's Mare of Easttown to develop a television series based on the Sam and Twitch comics. Image Comics announced that the independent studio wiip will produce a Sam and Twitch television series starring the characters McFarlane created for his Spawn comics series. Jason Smilovic and Todd Katzberg will adapt the project and serve as executive producers along with McFarlane for McFarlane Films and wiip's Paul Lee and Mark Roybal.
Sam and Twitch were originally side characters in McFarlane's Spawn series, a pair of NYC cops who occasionally crossed paths with Al Simmons, the alter-ego of the title character. The pair eventually were spun off into their own series, where they investigated cases that occasionally intersected with the more supernatural elements of the Spawn Universe.
McFarlane has spent years trying to turn Sam and Twitch into a Hollywood project, with Kevin Smith initially attached to a planned show. "Unfortunately, [the Kevin Smith project] went and then we took it to AMC and couldn't get it going and then it just lapsed," McFarlane told ComicBook.com about the long-percolating project. "There's limits on all these contracts. And so unfortunately it just lapsed."
As for how the project came to wiip, McFarlane said it started after he watched Mare of Easttown for the first time. "I finally watched [Mare of Easttown.] And I went, 'Shit,'" McFarlane said. "I got on the phone and I went, 'Dude, if Sam and Twitch could be half as cool of that," right? I didn't know at that point that [Mare of Easttown] was going to build to this zeitgeist thing where it was going to be spoofed on Saturday Night Live. I just saw that first episode and said 'It just feels real. This feels pretty...'"
Spawn has remained enduringly popular since its debut in the 1990s. McFarlane's Spawn Universe #1 had an initial sales run of over 200,000 issues, making it one of the biggest-selling comics of the year. More Spawn-related comics are also in the works for Image, which was co-founded and is co-owned by McFarlane.