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Who Is John Doe? Anthony Mackie’s Twisted Metal Character Explained

Anthony Mackie will bring PlayStation’s Twisted Metal franchise to life as John Doe. Here’s who his character is in the Twisted Metal franchise.

For those unfamiliar with PlayStation’s Twisted Metal video game franchise, here is Anthony Mackie’s Twisted Metal character, John Doe, explained. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier star, Anthony Mackie is attached to lead and produce a Twisted Metal adaptation with Sony Pictures Television and PlayStation Productions. PlayStation’s Twisted Metal franchise began in 1995 as a vehicular combat-based game and presently includes nine action-packed games. In fact, it remains PlayStation’s longest-running exclusive video game franchise. Essentially, the games revolve around a post-apocalyptic contest run by a mysterious man named Calypso who grants the winner a single wish, which Calypso claims has no limits.


It has been reported that Sony’s Twisted Metal adaptation is based on an original concept by Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Werncik. Their action-buddy comedy revolves around Anthony Mackie’s John Doe and a trigger-happy partner facing down everyone from savage Mad Max: Fury Road-styled marauders to deranged clowns in ice cream trucks. Clearly, this proposed story sounds a little different than the series’ source material and Calypso’s illegal competition. Nonetheless, with Anthony Mackie signed on to the project, it stands a chance of becoming a beloved, fun action series.

Related: Every Actor Who Almost Played Uncharted’s Nathan Drake (Before Tom Holland)

Video game adaptations have a history of hit-or-miss critical reception, but this has not prevented studios from moving forward with game-inspired projects. For example, at the moment, Sony is in post-production on another PlayStation-exclusive inspired film, Uncharted, which stars Tom Holland as a young Nathan Drake. Since Twisted Metal is inspired by a video game franchise, audiences don’t have to wait to discover more about the character Anthony Mackie will be playing in the series, John Doe. In fact, there is quite a bit to be explained concerning the character’s background and Mad Max-inspired ride.

Sony Twisted Metal John Doe Video Game Series

The character of John Doe initially appeared in the franchise’s fourth game, Twisted Metal: Black. In this game he appears as a psychiatric patient, with no memory of his life before. It’s in this psychiatric facility that he is approached by Calypso and offered a chance to wish for his memories. The only clues he has to his previous life are numerous tattoos covering his body, similar to Guy Pearce in Christopher Nolan’s Memento. Once John Doe completes the competition and beats his competitors, he is granted his wish and regains his memories. He learns he is an undercover FBI agent who was attempting to bring down a dangerous cult.

The character appears again in Twisted Metal: Lost. However, in this game, John Doe is a different character and known to be an undercover police officer actively trying to bring Calypso down. In both games, John Doe drives the same iconic car by the name of “Roadkill.” Roadkill has appeared in all but two of the Twisted Metal games and is always displayed as a junk muscle car made from spare parts. The Roadkill driven by both John Does is specifically a modified 1970 Dodge Charger. Additionally, some of the combat modifications made to the car have included steel javelins, boomerang missiles, mines, and the ability to fire large volleys of missiles.

Ultimately, the car is just as much of a character as John Doe. One could even make the argument that Roadkill is more important as it is a mainstay in the PlayStation’s Twisted Metal games — it’s the vehicle, not John Doe, that the player operates while playing the game. This means that Sony’s television series will have to be sure to incorporate the car to the best of the series’ ability. Though Anthony Mackie’s Twisted Metal is likely still years away, PlayStation users can play through the series’ inspiration and discover the post-apocalyptic setting for themselves. The game explains everything one needs to know about John Doe.

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