The “Amazon Presents” panel brought the minds behind The Tick to Comic-Con! Moderator Jamie Hector asked The Tick‘s creator Ben Edlund and producer Barry Josephson for updates on the show’s revival, which was recently picked up for an entire season following the debut of their promising pilot episode.
I’ve rounded up the panel highlights below, in which we got a glimpse at a clip from the show as well as some hints about the series moving forward.
The moderator, Bosch‘s Jamie Hector, mentioned the many iterations that The Tick has gone through, and asked, “What about current TV inspired you to revisit it now?” Edlund replied, “Our superhero saturation has given us the perfect […] hunting ground for The Tick. There’s never been a public more educated about superheroes and their culture.”
Asked how the two dealt with recasting iconic roles, Josephson replied, “We had no idea who would play Arthur, but we knew that we’d know him when we saw him…” When an audience member shouted that Griffin Newman was “amazing” in the role, Edlund and Josephson both look pleased. Edlund added: “He’s been a comedian in Manhattan since he was 10. That’s a tough road to walk. Now, Peter Serafinowicz [who plays the Tick] is more known in the UK, but he was in Guardians of the Galaxy and Spy, and he is incredible.” Josephson also agreed that Serafinowicz is “perfect for this more unpredictable, crazy version of the Tick that Ben has written”, and went on to praise Jackie Earl Haley as “an incredible gift” as The Terror. Edlund laughed, adding, “Oh, he’s horrific. He has this cold icy stare. Jackie Earl Haley has a secret about portraying cold, icy characters.”
The panelists introduced a clip in which the Tick fights some ne’er do wells at a warehouse. Both men lauded the episode’s director, Wally Pfister, who has most notably worked as a cinematographer on Christopher Nolan’s Batman films. Edlund said, “We want to have fun with superheroes, but also have some real visual muscle for the show.” Of the clip itself, Edlund added, “This is a wildly violent moment in the show […] the show will develop a certain conscience about violence, but that’ll be funny too.”
When Hector asked if there were going to be any familiar characters popping up, Edlund said yes, but ducked around specific names.
“The Terror will definitely be an important part of first season, particularly to define Arthur as a hero. They’ll meet a very violent vigilante character […] he won’t have a skull on his chest, but he’ll be, uh, hardline in his reasoning. And we’ll meet a government organization that has fused a super tracking system and a homeland security nightmare […] this show is an unprecedented opportunity to make a superheroic creative universe that you can actually invest in. Once people are invested we’ll be able to get more and more absurd, but it has to have a throughline of heart. Each episode will shock and surprise!”
After that Hector turned the panel over to audience Q&A.
The first question started on the right note, when the fan yelled “SPOON!” into the mic, which led to a rousing cheer of “Spoon” from the whole audience.
When asked if any actors from other universes of The Tick would be coming back to the current version, Josephson hinted, “Patrick [Warburton] is fantastic – he’s going to do something special.” Edlund also mentioned Nestor Carbonell (Batmanuel), Liz Vassey (Captain Liberty), and David Burke (Arthur), stating that he’d love to work with them in the future.
Finally, the last question came back to the the impetus for bringing the Tick’s adventures to 2016, when a fan asked, “What is the kernel for this particular Tick?”
Edlund’s answer is illuminating, and hints that we’ll be seeing a much different version of this universe than any he’s created before:
“The most important thing is that now, The Tick is Arthur’s story. The Tick is very important, but it’s become the story of a person, a normal person, who feels that their world has gone insane, and they try to find a way to deal with it. But they earn the label of being crazy for trying to do that. Taking The Tick more seriously has turned out to be the funniest thing we could do.”
So, we might get cameos from the original live-action Tick, including Patrick Warburton! And the idea of a complete arc for Arthur sounds promising. I, for one, am excited to see where this goes, and would like to formally request an appearance from Man-Eating Cow.