MacFarlane will make his directorial debut on “Ted,” an R-rated comedy from Universal Pictures co-written by his “Family Guy” collaborators Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild. The film follows a man who has a bizarre relationship with his teddy bear, a CG character voiced by — no surprise here — MacFarlane himself.
While speculation on “Ted” is largely focused on MacFarlane, it’s worth taking a look at Sulkin and Wild’s credits, too. Their chemistry and sensibilities are well-documented as the writers have collaborated together on “Family Guy” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn” over the years, offering some hints at the tone and comedy style we might see in “Ted.”
“Family Guy” is a show best known for its relentless ribbing of popular culture, a reputation that Sulkin and Wild have contributed to on multiple occasions. Wild wrote “Road to the Multiverse,” the show’s eighth season premiere that took a page from DC Comics’ playbook to explore various different universes with vague connections to the proper “Family Guy” continuity, like the Disney and Japanese universes, featuring the voice of “Inception” star Ken Watanabe as Japanese Peter. Sulkin, for his part, is the writer of “Blue Harvest,” the famous “Family Guy” direct-to-video parody of “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.” Clearly, these two have earned their badges in popular culture knowhow, something they’re bound to bring to “Ted.”
It’s hard not to look at the core premise of “Ted” — a man and his talking stuffed animal — and not think about certain “Family Guy” characters that have no business talking, namely Stewie and Brian. Wild and Sulkin are well-versed in both characters — in addition to “Road to the Multiverse,” Wild wrote another Stewie/Brian road trip outing in “Road to Rupert,” while Sulkin has spent plenty of time with the characters on “Spies Reminiscent of Us.”
Really, the only major concern I have about Sulkin and Wild is their lack of live-action experience. Writing for animation and writing for live-action are two separate beasts, and their only credited flesh & blood experience is relegated to late night television on “The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn.” Despite this, I think the fact that they’ve penned some of the best “Family Guy” outings in recent memory, not to mention their handling of Stewie and Brian — two characters that are bound to share some similarities with the presumably foul-mouthed Ted — tips the scales in their favor.
Besides, with MacFarlane at the helm and Sulkin & Wild at his side, it’s likely that “Ted” is going to play out like a live-action “Family Guy” movie. That’s a concept I can get behind. Just keep the “injured shin” jokes to a minimum, please.
Tell us what you’re expecting out of “Ted” in the comments section and on Twitter!