wiip, the independent studio behind HBO’s hit “Mare of Easttown,” has partnered with Emmy-winning SPAWN creator and director/producer Todd McFarlane to develop “Sam and Twitch” as a premium television drama series. The project will be based on two of the most prominent characters in the SPAWN comic franchise, which recently broke the Guinness World Record for the longest-running creator-owned comic and has sold hundreds of millions of copies in more than 120 countries worldwide. This announcement follows the news that McFarlane’s newest comic project, “SPAWN’S UNIVERSE #1,” is officially the biggest new title launch from IMAGE COMICS’ in the 21st century.
“Sam and Twitch” will focus on SPAWN’s two most popular human characters, detectives Sam Burke and “Twitch” Williams.
Jason Smilovic and Todd Katzberg will adapt the project and serve as executive producers. Smilovic & Katzberg are the creators and showrunners behind the drama series “Condor,” an adaptation of the 1975 feature “Three Days of the Condor,” which airs its second season on Epix in the fall. McFarlane and Sean Canino for McFarlane Films also executive produce with wiip’s Paul Lee and Mark Roybal.
wiip’s Lee and Roybal are executive producers of the hit HBO limited series “Mare of Easttown.” The finale, which recently aired two weeks ago, set the record as the most-watched episode of an Original Series on HBO Max.
“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, SPAWN Creator. “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!”
In addition to creating SPAWN, McFarlane is also the co-founder and President of Image Comics, the third-largest comics publisher.
McFarlane is also best known for his work as the artist on “The Amazing Spider-Man.” He co-created the character “Venom,” which the feature film of the same name has accumulated a worldwide box office total of more than $850 million to date.
The industry and fans have recognized McFarlane’s award-winning projects in entertainment, comics, publishing, and toys with 2 Grammy nominations, 1 Grammy win, 2 Emmy Awards, 2 MTV Video Music Awards, 1 Canadian MuchMusic Award, the 2021 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award, a People’s Choice Award, and more than 150 International awards.
In addition to showrunning “Condor,” Smilovic & Katzberg are attached to pen a feature adaptation of Isabella Maldonado’s novel, The Cipher, starring Jennifer Lopez for Netflix. Most recently, Smilovic & Katzberg adapted Robert Littell’s Cold War Era Novel The Sisters for Pioneer Pictures and Thunder Road with Smilovic set to direct. Previous feature credits for Smilovic include “Lucky Number Slevin” and the Todd Phillips summer feature “War Dogs,” which earned Jonah Hill a Golden Globe nomination in the Best Actor – Comedy/Musical category.
Smilovic & Katzberg are repped by CAA, Lit Entertainment Group, and attorney Amy Nickin for Smilovic and Bruce Gellman for Katzberg. Todd McFarlane and McFarlane Films are repped by CAA.
wiip is an independent studio led by veteran entertainment executive Paul Lee and is distinctive in its commitment to letting talent do what talent does best – create. wiip’s premium slate of shows includes one of the year’s biggest global hits and critical darling “Mare of Easttown” starring Kate Winslet for HBO; critically acclaimed and Peabody Award-winner “Dickinson,” starring Hailee Steinfeld for Apple TV+; “The White House Plumbers,” starring Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux for HBO; Adam McKay’s “The Uninhabitable Earth” for HBO Max; Danny Boyle’s “Pistol” for FX; Jenny Han’s “The Summer I Turned Pretty” for Amazon and “Dummy” starring Anna Kendrick for Roku. The studio also produces Arthur Mathews and Matt Berry’s “Toast of Tinseltown” for the BBC.
About SPAWN and Todd McFarlane
Todd McFarlane’s SPAWN is one of the world’s best-selling and longest-running monthly comic books, with several hundred million copies sold worldwide in more than 120 countries. McFarlane made history with the release of the historic SPAWN #300 and record-breaking SPAWN #301. These milestones earned McFarlane the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the world’s longest-running creator-owned comic book series ever.
The comic became an Emmy Award-winning animated series on HBO and a live-action feature film that grossed $100 million. McFarlane became a true comic book superstar for his record-setting work on Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man franchise, where he co-created Marvel’s top villain Venom.
After garnishing prominent success in the comic industry, McFarlane founded the international award-winning McFarlane Toys, one of America’s top action figure manufacturers. In 2020, the new release of a SPAWN figure on Kickstarter set a new Kickstarter record, in its category, for raising just under $3.5 million in 30 days.