From the animated series to comic books, The Tick has proven to have some legit staying power over the decades. Now he’s finally coming back to live action. But how will it differ from Fox’s short-lived (but beloved) attempt in 2001?
Quite a lot, it seems, at least according to creator Ben Edlund. Amazon has picked up a new live-action adaptation of The Tick to series, though Peter Serafinowicz is now taking the reins from Patrick Warburton as the big, blue bug of justice. Along with the obvious casting changes, Edlund said they’ll also aiming for something a bit less slapstick than the last series, and he’s actually building a mythology for the show with a plan that could potentially run for 50 episodes if Amazon is inclined to keep it around.
The narrative approach is also getting an overhaul, as Griffin Newman’s Arthur (The Tick’s trusty sidekick) will now take center stage as he works to uncover a conspiracy that goes a whole lot deeper than he’d ever imagined. Throw in the curly menacing Jackie Earle Haley as big bad The Terror, and this certainly sounds like a different animal than the 2001 version.
Here’s an excerpt of Edlund’s comments to io9:
“[U]ltimately that’s worked great for the cartoon and worked well for the live-action in terms of what we were looking for as an expression of The Tick at the time. Now Arthur is a legitimate main character protagonist, where he’s not just your excuse to have fun with the world. That is very much a lot of characters in a lot of genre expressions and it’s totally real and good. This is more like Arthur has his own story and you need to see it play out. You care about where he came from and where he’s going. The Tick is, in essence, the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to Arthur. And that’s the story…
Arthur will realize that he desperately needs The Tick, given the plight he’s gotten into. Now, I think in better structural form this time around, The Tick is very involved in deepening Arthur’s problem. He meets The Tick and he’s never going back to anything approaching normalcy. The thugs hate him now. The gangs know who he is. All of it is bad. In fact, Arthur would have never even conceived of being a superhero. He just wanted to try to expose evil in his town. But The Tick comes on as a whole package and practically wraps him in a superhero identity that he will not let him get out of. So that’s the right dynamic. Then, with Arthur, it’s up to him to realize, “OK, my new friend is either my murderer or my emancipator and, moment to moment, I’ve got to figure out which.” [laughs]
The Tick is set to premiere on Amazon Prime this August.