David Tennant Takes Over for Robin Williams in Chew Comic Adaptation

Former Doctor Who star David Tennant is taking on a role originally intended for the late Robin Williams in the animated film Chew, based on the award-winning comic book of the same name.

Chew tells the story of FDA agent Tony Chu, a “cibopath” who receives psychic visions from everything he eats. He uses this ability to solve murders. by — you guessed it — eating the victims. God, I love comic books. No other medium would be so daring (adaptation notwithstanding).

The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun voices Chu, while geek fan favorite Felicia Day (The Guild, Supernatural) plays his food critic love interest, Amelia Mintz. Both Yeun and Day recorded their parts last year while negotiations were underway to cast Robin Williams as Chu’s FDA mentor and fellow cibopath, Mason Savoy.

The animated film is being directed by Jeff Krelitz and produced by Krelitz and David Boxenbaum. Together, the duo own Heavy Metal, the magazine and multimedia company they purchased last year from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman. Krelitz has a tenuous existing connection to Doctor Who; he directed the Torchwood motion comic, Web of Lies, which was a tie-in to Starz’s terrible Torchwood: Miracle Day.

Chew co-creator John Layman wrote the script for the film version as well, and will executive produce with artist and co-creator Rob Guillory.

David Tennant holding a plush “chog” as he records his part in the animated adaptation of the comic book, Chew.
(Credit: Bleeding Cool)

Robin Williams is known to have been a huge geek in his private life (Doctor Who is said to have been among his favorite shows), and was reportedly a fan of both the Chew comic and Heavy Metal magazine. Unfortunately, his suicide prevented him from taking part in the animated adaptation, and the filmmakers decided to take a break to “regroup” before seeking an alternative.

Fortunately for both them and us, the immensely talented David Tennant has stepped in to fill the role. Tennant was in the studio recording his lines this week and was photographed with a plush “chog” (bird meat is outlawed in the world of Chew after a bird flu pandemic, leading to the creation of frog-chicken hybrids called “chogs” or “frickens”).

Chew is releasing its 50th issue in time for the San Diego Comic-Con next month; no release date for the film version has been announced.

What do you think? Are you a fan of the Chew comic book? How do you feel about Tennant’s casting? Sound off in the comments below!

[Via Hollywood Reporter]