Wiip, the independent studio behind HBO sensation Mare of Easttown, is partnering with director-producer Todd McFarlane to develop Sam and Twitch, a drama series based on characters from his acclaimed Spawn comic franchise.
The project will specifically center on detectives Sam Burke and “Twitch” Williams, the two most popular human characters in Spawn, which has sold hundreds of millions of copies in more than 120 countries worldwide, recently claiming the Guinness World Record for longest-running creator-owned comic.
Jason Smilovic and Todd Katzberg (perhaps best known as the creators and showrunners for Epix’s Condor) will adapt the project, and serve as executive producers. McFarlane and Sean Canino will also exec produce for McFarlane Films, alongside wiip’s Paul Lee and Mark Roybal.
“My two detective characters Sam Burke and “Twitch” Williams appeared in the very first issue of SPAWN #1 back in 1992. Since then, they’ve become fan favorites and have branched out into their own comic series throughout the years,” said McFarlane in a statement. “Their stories, blending traditional crime noir and the supernatural, is a combination that I’ve always thought would make for an entertaining television drama. The addition of wiip and the creative writing skills of Jason Smilovic and Todd Katzberg make for a very compelling team that we all hope leads to the entertaining show we know this can be. If you like cool, moody, creepy, odd crime stories, this will be your cup of tea!”
Spawn creator MacFarlane is also the co-founder and President of Image Comics, the third-largest comics publisher behind Marvel and DC Comics. The Emmy and Grammy winner additionally worked as the artist on The Amazing Spider-Man and co-created the popular character Venom, which has in recent years spawned its own blockbuster film franchise. Today’s development announcement comes on the heels of news that McFarlane’s newest comic project, “SPAWN’S UNIVERSE #1,” is the biggest new title launch from Image Comics in the 21st century.
Outside of their work on Sam and Twitch, Smilovic & Katzberg have signed on to script a Netflix feature adaptation of Isabella Maldonado’s novel The Cipher, starring Jennifer Lopez. They also recently adapted Cold War novel The Sisters for Pioneer Pictures and Thunder Road, with Smilovic set to direct.
Todd McFarlane and McFarlane Films are represented by CAA. Smilovic & Katzberg are repped by CAA, Lit Entertainment Group, and attorney Amy Nickin for Smilovic and Bruce Gellman for Katzberg.