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The early bird gets the Earthworm Jim television show. SYFY WIRE has confirmed that a brand-new animated project based on the classic video game franchise is headed for the small screen via Interplay Entertainment Corp., which owns the rights to the series.
At the current time, it's unclear who will be tapped to be the full-time voice of the intrepid invertebrate who fights the cosmic forces of evil with the help of a robotic suit. (Think Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear crossed with that worm from James and the Giant Peach).
Per the official synopsis, the TV iteration "will feature a host of new faces as they navigate an absurd, hostile and colorful galaxy, where each planet is home to a race of anthropomorphic animals. Jim's ultimate quest is to find his true home among the stars: a near-mythical planet called Earth."
In a teaser video containing concept art and a faux interview with the titular character, Jim discusses his desire to return to Earth, which has the "best dirt" in the entire universe.
"It's adventure, it's science fiction — it's not just action, it's also satire," he adds, presumably describing what the show entails. "But it has emotion, it has love, it's sensitive like me ... Let's be clear: a worm lost in space can't be an Earthworm, right? It's just a worm. Now, we're talking about an identity crisis here. These are very serious themes."
Michel K. Parandi is leading the Earthworm Jim adaptation charge on behalf of Interplay's newly-founded film and TV division. Producer Aaron Billet and Marc Bodin-Joyeux of the award-winning Passion Pictures animation studio are also on board.
“I remember loving Earthworm Jim as a kid,” Parandi said in a statement. “And there’s so much potential in this story universe: a galaxy full of animals battling for power. Jim is an earthworm in a universe where Earth is nothing more than a myth. His struggle to find meaning is surreal and comical, but it’s also relatable.”
Created by controversial and polarizing figure Doug TenNapel, Earthworm Jim first hit the scene in his eponymous 1994 title for the Sega Genesis. The game spawned three sequels, a limited Marvel Comics run, action figures, and even a short-lived cartoon in which Jim was played by Dan Castellaneta (best-known as the voice of Homer Simpson).
“We are thrilled for the opportunity to create a show for an iconic character that we grew up both playing on Genesis, and watching on TV,” added Billet. “The fans have matured and deserve a current take as we bring in new audiences.”