How 'Sweet Tooth' Is Different in the Netflix Series Compared to the Original Comics

A fantasy series about a deadly virus that spreads across the world may not sound like escapism right now, but new Netflix series Sweet Tooth has many more fantastical elements to draw you in further.

Sweet Tooth is based on a comic book of the same name. It follows a 9-year-old boy with antlers traveling across a post-apocalyptic world, trying to reach his mother in Colorado.

The series, which is executive produced by Robert Downey, Jr. and wife Susan Downey, was planned long before 2020 but production for the Netflix show took place at the height of the pandemic. Eerily, fiction mirrored reality during filming.

The differences between the TV show and the comic

The original comic series was written in 2009 by Jeff Lemire and it's worth noting that the changes made for TV were signed off by the author himself.

In the comics, the father was deemed a lunatic, not the sweet parental figure we see Will Forte portray. There's also more of a focus on Gus (Christian Convery) and Jepperd (Nonso Anozie) in the series.

There are added elements which the comic writer Lemire revealed he's really excited about.

"I think some of the best parts of the show are some of the new characters, which is really exciting for me because I get to experience something new, too," he said in a press statement sent to Newsweek.

"Jeff Lemire is a psychic, or he has a crystal ball or a very accurate tarot deck."
Robert Downey, Jr on the pandemic predictions made in the comic

Shooting 'The Sick' in 2020

Sweet Tooth was one of the few shows that were allowed to shoot in New Zealand last year. The pilot was shot well before the pandemic but the team suddenly found themselves making a series that was unexpectedly timely.

Showrunner Jim Mickle said: "Crazily enough, the real world chased so much of what we address in this show -- and what the comics addressed more than 10 years ago. Life keeps mirroring art and vice versa."

The virus in the series is called H5G9 but is commonly referred to as 'the sick'. It is said to have wiped out most of humanity and led to the apocalyptic event called 'The Great Crumble'.

Exec producer and one time Marvel hero Downey, Jr. echoes the eerie prediction made by the writer of the source material. He said: "Jeff Lemire is a psychic, or he has a crystal ball or a very accurate tarot deck. Coming out of this challenging time, I think this show is a really interestingly placed bit of entertainment."

Filming with COVID-19 restrictions in New Zealand

The global pandemic hit in March 2020, long after the pilot was shot, and two months into the script writing process. Luckily, the team were able to travel back to New Zealand and shoot the remainder of the season, with strict COVID-19 safety protocols in place.

Susan Downey admits the reality of going through a pandemic in New Zealand helped reflect the tone they were aiming for with the fake virus onscreen. She said: "If anything, it helped us double down on wanting to explore hope and community and what you have to rebuild.

"Filming in New Zealand gave us a really beautiful and exaggerated landscape that played perfectly into what we were looking for because unlike many post-apocalyptic
stories where everything's kind of gray and dusty with crumbling buildings, the central idea for Sweet Tooth was that nature was reclaiming everything." She said.

Sweet Tooth season 1 is available to stream on Netflix now

Christian Convery plays Gusin Sweet Tooth
Christian Convery plays Gus, a human-deer hybrid in the new Netflix series Sweet Tooth. Netflix

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