The Amazon Video panel at NYCC 2016 had a lot of big names, but the chatter outside made it clear what people were most excited about: The Tick.
Amazon’s upcoming Tick live-action series is the third adaptation of Ben Edlund’s comic, following a cartoon in the 90’s and another live-action adaptation starring Patrick Warburton in the early 2000’s. This version will star Peter Serafinowicz as the titular hero, and Griffin Newman as his sidekick Arthur. Ben Edlund and Barry Josephson both made an appearance at the panel to discuss the series, which was just picked up from a successful pilot earlier this month.
In case it wasn’t clear from the pilot, they’re planning on using this new series to explore a different side of the Tick that hasn’t been seen in other media. Edlund mentioned that he’s been working on ideas for a different series for the last several years, while he’s had other high-profile writing gigs on shows such as Gotham and Powers. He described this new interpretation as a “more unpredictable, dangerous” Tick.
To help shape this tone they also brought in Wally Pfister as the pilot’s director. Pfister was also the cinematographer who helped shape the look and feel of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Following a clip showing a gunfight in the pilot, Edlund also remarked that the show would develop “a certain conscience about violence.”
Edlund and Josephson talked at-length about the difficulties of casting the main characters. They said they were lucky to get excellent veteran actors like Peter Serafinowicz (The Tick) and Jackie Earle Haley (The Terror) on-board, but they were particularly surprised by the audition of relative newcomer Griffin Newman (Arthur). Edlund says they saw his audition and knew immediately “That’s Arthur.” He also went on to say that this iteration of the Tick is really “Arthur’s story.” It’s the story of someone seeing all these horrible things in the world and wanting to change them, and then having everyone tell them they’re crazy for wanting to do something.
They couldn’t reveal too many details about the upcoming series, but Edlund and Josephson hinted at several things. Josephson joked about constantly begging Edlund to include different classic ‘Tick’ characters. I know I personally will die happy if we can get a live-action Chairface Chippendale. They did mention that Patrick Warburton, star of the previous ‘Tick’ live-action series and producer of the new one, would have a small role in at least one episode.
They also discussed several threats the Tick would be forced to deal with, including a violent vigilante similar to the Punisher, and a paranoid government ‘Homeland Security’ agency that would explore themes of superhero registration. Edlund has high ambitions for this new series. He described wanting to create “a superhero comedic universe you can actually invest in and care about.”
The pilot felt very grounded in comparison to other ‘Tick’ adaptations, and Edlund says he wants to eventually work it up to be more and more absurd. The ideal he’s working towards is an absurd comedic series that’s heavily grounded in both heart and continuity. I personally could not be more excited for this show.