SDCC 2022

Primal creator reveals why there will never be a live-action movie

“Thank God it didn’t happen.”

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Among a certain type of animation fan, Genndy Tartakovsky is God. The man behind Dexter’s Lab, Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and Primal easily fills a large hall at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, and his devotees line up dutifully to praise his work and ask for advice.

Against this backdrop, Tartakovsky offered up a few details about the future of Primal, his current animated series about a caveman who speaks in grunts and his pet Tyrannosaurus rex. Primal Season 2 debuted on Adult Swim on July 21. A day later, Tartakovsky and his team were at Comic-Con. Here are a couple of big takeaways from the panel.

A Primal live-action movie?

Spear and Fang in Primal.


Tartakovsky is a true animation devotee, but this wouldn’t be the first time Hollywood tried to turn one of his projects into live-action. At Comic-Con, he revealed that several “big-name directors” have reached out about making a live-action version of Primal because they love the show. However, it probably won’t happen if Tartakovsky has anything to say about it. “Hollywood ruins everything,” he said.

As proof, he then segued into a brief discussion of the scrapped plans for a live-action Samurai Jack movie, which was apparently just “awful.”

“Thank God that didn’t happen,” Tartakovsky said of the canceled Samurai Jack film.

The future of Primal

When asked if he has a grand plan for Primal beyond Season 2, Tartakovsky started by saying that he generally likes to keep those things a secret until they come to fruition — then, he broke his own rule and offered up one major nugget.

Without offering a set number of seasons, Tartakovsky said that his plan is to turn Primal into an anthology series, eventually. He compared the show to the sci-fi anthology film Heavy Metal as a potential blueprint for how to expand Primal beyond its current form.

A Primal x Samurai Jack crossover?

Aku vs. Jack.

Cartoon Network

Don’t get too excited. When asked which character from a previous show he’d want to put in Primal’s world, Tartakovsky initially declined to comment, explaining that he didn’t want to fuel any of the already wild fan theories that exist. But again, he couldn’t resist commenting.

“Jack would do pretty well in Primal,” Tartakovsky mused, before adding, “Aku would too.”

Primal Season 2 releases episodes weekly on HBO Max.

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