In light of the latest twist in the long series of attempts to bring Todd McFarlane's Sam & Twitch to life onscreen, filmmaker Kevin Smith noted on the Fatman Beyond podcast with co-host Marc Bernardin that it appears someone is finally making serious progress in getting the series made. Smith himself had once been in line to executive produce Sam & Twitch, a project he took on shortly after leaving the never-realized Buckaroo Banzai series that Amazon wanted to do. Sam & Twitch, characters who appeared in the very first issue of Spawn back in 1992, are a pair of cops who often cross paths with the hellbound vigilante, and who were made fan-favorites in their own series from writer Brian Michael Bendis back before he was one of the biggest names in comics.
Smith reminded fans that his version had been planned for BBC America, who optioned it with an eye toward developing a show that would slot into the timeslot vacated by the conclusion of Orphan Black. Unfortunately, it "went away," he said. If it hadn't, his pick for Sam Burke would have been Tyler Labine, star of Reaper and Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, who worked with Smith briefly on Zack and Miri Make a Porno.
You can see the podcast below; the Sam & Twitch portion starts around one hour and 49 minutes.
Smith previously said that he would have liked to cast The Suicide Squad and The Flash actor David Dastmalchian in the role of Twitch Williams. It's likely that Smith's would have been at least slightly more faithful to the comic book source material than the new one, which hails from Mare of Easttown producers Paul Lee and Mark Roybal. During a recent conversation with ComicBook, legendary comics artist Todd McFarlane, who created the characters, told us that the new series will not be a straight adaptation of existing stories.
"They're pulling from some of the stuff that has existed, obviously since 1992, some of the character," McFarlane teased. "But again, I don't want them to be loyal to any one story, right? I mean, if they happen to come up with something and say, 'Hey, we want to bend.' Which they are a little bit at the beginning on one of the stories but in the future, no, come on. This is just an extension of the comic book, which is the new tale we can tell that will make these two characters still entertaining in a good, strong drama way that we can feel the bond that these two men have and that they're basically up against a system that's not going to support them, right? So, they're on their own. They're rogue without intentionally being so because they're going to know more than anybody else. So they're going to have to hide it."
The plan at present is for Twitch WIlliams to appear in the long-in-development Spawn movie, which McFarlane has written and hopes to direct. Deals are in place for Jamie Foxx to play Spawn and Jeremy Renner to play Twitch, but talks with studios to finance McFarlane's directorial debut have been hard to pin down. At one point, Blumhouse was interested, but it is not clear whether that deal is still on the table.