Twisted Metal Season 1’s “Head On Fire”: The EP Breaks It Down

Fans were excited to see Sweet Tooth’s “head on fire,” and the executive producer of Twisted Metal explains its significance.
Showrunner Michael Jonathan Smith was keen on incorporating recognizable features from the game, thus he gave the flaming head of Sweet Tooth a prominent role.

The live-action show’s reimagining of Sweet Tooth is faithful to the character’s redesign in the most current video game iterations, and his origin narrative is delineated as well.
Carter Swan, the show’s executive producer, explains the “head on fire” scene in Twisted Metal. The series centers on John Doe (Anthony Mackie), a courier who has lost his memory yet must deliver a strange cargo across a post-apocalyptic globe. Several scary criminals, including Sweet Tooth (Samoa Joe, voiced by Will Arnett), stand in his way. The final two episodes of season 1 gave viewers their first real look at the killer clown, a recognizable figure from the Twisted Metal computer games who is frequently shown with flames on his head.

TV Insider recently interviewed Swan, and he elaborated on the significance of setting Sweet Tooth’s “head on fire.” He said that Michael Jonathan Smith, the showrunner for Twisted Metal, wanted to include the flames from Sweet Tooth twice. Take a look at what Swan had to say about Sweet Tooth’s “head on fire”:

I can’t stress this point enough: everyone involved with the show is a fan who enjoys the game. Michael Jonathan Smith, the show’s creator and showrunner, was a huge fan and did a fantastic job of finding these landmarks. He made it his mission to incorporate as many of the game’s memorable details as possible into the series. One of those things was the fiery head of Sweet Tooth, which he repeatedly said, “I have to have that in there.” In fact, it occurs twice! There’s a scene in the second episode where he appears to be walking through flames at slow motion. Later on, when it came down to it, he made sure to get that particular detail in there by devoting a great deal of time and effort to it. He insists, “This has to go in there.” That’s so Sweet Tooth, he must be smoking hot.

Sweet Tooth and the Evolution of Twisted Metal

Sweet Tooth’s appearance has changed over the course of the video game series, with the most recent entries depicting him with a hulking build and a terrifying mask/smile that is quite similar to his real-life inspiration. His background as an asylum inmate and his current occupation as an ice cream truck driver are both discussed in the seventh episode of the Twisted Metal series, “NUTH0UZ.” The episode elaborates on his backstory by revealing how he turned violent as a child and by implying that his father was also a troublemaker.

Fans were hoping for Sweet Tooth’s fiery head, but because he is portrayed by Joe, a professional wrestler, he seems to provide more of a physical challenge to John Doe and his companion, Quiet (Stephanie Beatriz). Swan only mentioned fake flames in the background for that one scene from earlier in the series. At the end of Season 9, Episode 1, at Sweet Tooth’s urging, Stu (Mike Mitchell) took a lighter to his scalp, starting an instant fire.

Given the success of the PlayStation games, it seems to reason that the movie version of Twisted Metal would be packed with references to the original games. Perhaps fresh information will be revealed about Sweet Tooth, one of the most popular characters, but the “head on fire” is what most likely piqued the interest of die-hard fans. It will be intriguing to see if it continues into a hypothetical second season, as well as what other references the program might make.

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