After a whole lot of radio silence, there's finally a new update regarding the long in-production "Chew" animated feature. The project, which is based on the Image Comics series by John Layman and Rob Guillory, has added a big name to its cast in a pivotal role. The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that ex-"Doctor Who" star David Tennant will portray Mason Savoy, a burly, sai-wielding former FDA agent and primary opponent of series lead Tony Chu. The character was originally going to be voiced by the late Robin Williams.
"David recorded for 'Chew's' Mason Savoy character yesterday in New York and was phenomenal," Layman told CBR News, saying that Tennant approached the role with a gravelly, Orson Welles-esque style. "He came in with a really strong idea of how he wanted to approach the character and just nailed it from the first line reading."
"Chew" follows cibopath Tony Chu as he uses his ability to get psychic readings from ingesting food -- and other objects -- to solve the mystery behind a bird-flu epidemic that killed millions, made chicken illegal and pushed the FDA to the forefront of national defense.
"The cartoon is going to be a direct adaptation of the first trade, which introduces and really focuses on the relationship between Tony Chu and Mason Savoy," Layman shared. "There's a violent and intense falling out between the two characters at the end of the book."
After portraying a beloved hero in "Doctor Who" and a detective in the crime drama "Broadchurch," Tennant seems to be forging a new career path playing antagonists; the actor will next be seen playing bad guy Kilgrave in Marvel's Netflix series "Jessica Jones."
Tennant's addition is in line with the project's casting of genre-friendly actors; Steven Yeun ("The Walking Dead") and Felicia Day ("The Guild") were added to the cast as Tony Chu and Amelia Mintz in April 2014.
"I can't express how awesome it is to be there in the recording sessions, being there as the words you wrote to be printed on a page are brought to life in an entirely different way. Especially when it's being done by an actor the caliber of Tennant," Layman added.
Series writer John Layman penned the screenplay for the feature film, which will be directed by Jeff Krelitz. David Boxenbaum will produce the feature along with Krelitz under their Heavy Metal banner.