Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Starring Saturday Night Live’s Bobby Moynihan as the title character, FXX’s animated Chozen revolves around an openly gay ex-con who wants nothing more than revenge, redemption and a shot at the rap fame he feels is owed to him.
“I’m super-excited to be the first original on that channel,” creator Grant Dekernion said during the show’s New York Comic Con panel. “And to have shows like Always Sunny on there with us … I mean, it’s amazing. It’s really cool.”
“Chozen is just so hell-bent on one thing that he just says and does whatever he wants,” Moynihan explained. “Even with his sister, he walks in the room and his sister is having sex with somebody and he’s like ‘Oh, you having sex? Good for you!’ I feel like I would be like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m so sorry! I apologize!’ and then never talk to my sister again.”
Animated by Floyd County and produced by Rough Pictures, Chozen features a star-studded cast of famous, funny voices. Joining Moynihan on the series are Danny McBride, Hannibal Buress, Michael Pena and, of course, Method Man, who plays the antagonist.
“He was the first person cast,” Moynihan revealed. “I got the thing that said, ‘Do you want to put yourself on tape for this?’ and it had the drawing of all the characters. I was a big ‘Archer’ fan, so I saw that and was just like ‘Oh, I wanna do this.’”
“To me, this guy is someone who it’s not even fortune and fame he wants,” Method Man elaborated on his character Phantasm. “He just wanted companionship.” In the pilot episode, Phantasm is actually the one who puts Chozen in jail by framing him.
“In my mind, he just spent a lot of time aggressively taking what he wanted,” Moynihan mused about what Chozen did in prison. “And just watching Lost. I’m a weird Lost nerd. I want to do a whole episode where it’s just him in jail, watching Lost.”
So with Method Man himself being a rapper, is there any chance of him creating a rap specifically for his character on the series?
“I don’t think they wanna pay for it,” he joked. “If they give me a shot, maybe. Depending. It’d take me a lot longer to write though.”
“I produce hip-hop and so I write all the songs and then I record all the songs,” Dekernion said about the musical aspect of Chozen. “We can do it as we write, so we can have the writing influence the song and vice versa.”
“Obviously, we got Method Man, which blew my mind,” Dekernion confessed. “And that’s definitely helped us open doors. We’re hoping later this season we might see some more musical acts.”
As far as animation goes, Floyd County (Archer) is helming the production, with Tom Brady acting as executive producer.
“Stylistically, we’re very similar in that it’s somewhat realistic,” Brady said of a possible Chozen/Archer crossover. “You could see it existing in the same world, so who knows?”
“I feel very, very lucky,” Moynihan continued. “It’s a lot of fun improvising and a lot of like ‘Oh, my God, that was crazy, don’t use that.’”
“Who knows? Maybe this is the gateway show,” Moynihan said of the lack of openly gay rappers in real life.
So if Chozen were a real rapper, how exactly would he stack up against the competition? Moynihan continued: “I think he would think he’s doing great; probably not so great.”
Chozen premieres in January on FXX.