The Tick can’t be stopped. Ben Edlund’s satirical comic book character began in the 1980s and gained a legion of fans as a 1994 Saturday morning cartoon, and then gained even more when it was a short-lived live-action series on Fox in 2001 starring Patrick Warburton as the eponymous blue superhero. While the series probably still couldn’t gain the viewership numbers necessary to make it viable for network television, the TV landscape has changed drastically in the last 15 years, and there’s room for The Tick again.
In August 2014, we reported that Amazon was interested in reviving The Tick with Warburton on board to star and Edlund returning to write and executive produce. Today, it looks like two out of three of those pieces are true. Deadline reports that Amazon has ordered a pilot for The Tick, and Edlund will write and executive produce. However, Warburton is already on NBC’s Crowded, and is not expected to be involved in the Amazon pilot, so a search is underway for the new lead.
This new take on the material surrounds surprisingly dark, although The Tick, as silly as it could be, was always surprisingly a mature and literate show. Per Deadline, “In the new incarnation, the blue suit-wearing Tick is recovering from a memory loss. He ends up re-teaming with Arthur to fight evil. Newman’s Arthur, played in the Fox series by David Burke, had been labeled as a schizophrenic because of his statements that evil plans to rule the city, and no one believes him until he runs into Tick. Curry’s Dot Everest is a nurse who loves her brother Arthur to death and worries about him.”
If that sounds a little heavy, it might even get a little heavier as they’re bringing in The Dark Knight cinematographer and Transcendence director Wally Pfister to helm the pilot. It definitely sounds like this new Tick will have a tone that’s somewhat different than the 2001 iteration, and I think that’s the smart route to go. If you can’t get Warburton back, then there’s no point in sticking to continuity and they should try something fresh. Hopefully, Amazon takes to the pilot and we’ll all be shouting “Spoon!” once more.