Earthworm Jim is back, and he’s gearing up for a new animated TV show.
Earthworm Jim, Beyond the Groovy will follow the titular hero and his new crew (two other worm cadets and a giant bull, by the looks of it) through space as they try to find Earth. Software publisher Interplay Entertainment is partnering with the Agency for the Performing Arts to create the show.
K. Michel Parandi — who wrote, produced, and directed the 2019 TV movie XYZ: From Fire and Dust — will lead the creative team for Earthworm Jim’s new show and the creative team in Interplay’s newly created television and film division. Earthworm Jim is the first project in a larger effort at Interplay to leverage its intellectual property, the company said in a news release.
Parandi is working alongside Aaron Billet, who worked as a line producer on Disney Insider, and Passion Pictures, which has animated a number of shorts and commercials.
The announcement for Earthworm Jim, Beyond the Groovy includes a host of concept art and a faux interview with the star himself. Interplay has not revealed which network or streaming service Earthworm Jim, Beyond the Groovy will appear on, but a representative told Polygon, “We selected [Agency for the Performing Arts] to represent the series and pick the best partner for distribution.”
Earthworm Jim is an earthworm in a beefy robotic suit. He’s got a space blaster, and battles through the stars in a spaceship. The character headlined four video games and a Kids’ WB animated series in the ’90s. While he’s been part of some remakes and other projects in the 2000s, he’s mostly fallen into obscurity over the past 20 years.
It’s worth noting that Jim has a difficult history due to his original creator, Doug TenNapel. TenNapel is well known in the games and comics industry for his anti-LGBTQ+ views. He has frequently spoken out against marriage equality, and recently misgendered a transgender journalist who criticized his work. He has fought to keep progressive politics out of comics for years.
Interplay said in a statement to Polygon that “Interplay owns all rights in the Earthworm Jim property and assembled a whole new creative team to bring Jim to the small screen. Doug has no involvement in this new EWJ TV Series.”
Update: This story has been updated with a statement and new details from Interplay.