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New TV series Earthworm Jim is in the works

In today’s edition of Who Requested That? diversity reports that Interplay Entertainment, the current owners of the franchise, is working on a TV series by Earthworm Jim.

Interplay released a 2-minute teaser trailer with Earthworm Jim in a tongue-in-cheek “behind-the-music” interview describing his story as a space adventurer.

The series, titled “Earthworm Jim: Beyond the Groovy,” reportedly follows the adventures of Earthworm Jim as he battles evil from planet to planet across the galaxy, with each planet featuring a different race of anthropomorphic animal-like aliens. Earthworm Jim’s ultimate goal is to return to his home planet, you guessed it, Earth.

Concept art by Earthworm Jim: Beyond the Groovy

Concept art by Earthworm Jim: Beyond the Groovy

Interplay begins with a new division to develop new TV series and films. Interplay works with Passion Pictures, who have produced a variety of animated short films and commercials, including two episodes of “Love, Death, and Robots” and several animated trailers for Apex Legends.

The teaser trailer suggests a slightly more mature tone for Earthworm Jim, with the character referring to a thermostat added to his suit to “keep my ass warm” and that he spent 25 years in rehab. The Earthworm Jim games (and even the short-lived animation series from the 1990s on Kids’ WB) stayed relatively close to the kid-friendly tariff, but Shiny Entertainment’s original developers and creator Doug Tenaple (who also voiced Jim in the games) did often impaled video games and movie tropes adding characters like “Princess What’s-her-Name” as a riff on Princess Peach and more general Virgins in Need.

Concept art by Earthworm Jim: Beyond the Groovy

Concept art by Earthworm Jim: Beyond the Groovy

It’s unclear whether creator Doug TenNaple or other members of the original development team were involved in the project. TenNaple has a history of anti-LGBTQ views, speaks out against marriage equality, and misrepresented a transgender journalist who criticized his work in 2017. IGN reached out to Interplay to ask if TenNaple was involved but did not get an immediate response.

“I remember loving ‘Earthworm Jim’ as a kid,” said Michael K. Parand, director of Interplay’s new film and television division. “And there is so much potential in this story universe: a galaxy full of animals fighting for power. Jim is an earthworm in a universe where the earth is just a myth. His effort to find meaning is surreal and funny, but also understandable. “

Earthworm Jim’s star power has faded from his size in the mid to late 90s. While the first two games were successes due to their gameplay and attractive 2D graphics, Earthworm Jim 3D and subsequent releases were critical and commercial failures, with the final game being released in 1999.

Joseph Knoop is a writer / producer / little worm for IGN.

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