The popular kung fu/fantasy TV series that is Samurai Jack was created by acclaimed animation storyteller Genndy Tartakovsky (creator of Dexter’s Laboratory and director of the Hotel Transylvania movies) and ended its original four season run all the way back in September of 2004. For years thereafter, however, there were discussions of a Samurai Jack movie adaptation; with either filmmakers such as Tarsem Singh (Immortals, Emerald City) expressing interest in tackling the project or Tartakovsky himself expressing his desire to bring Jack’s time-traveling adventures to life on the big screen.
Everything changed in 2015 when Cartoon Network revealed that Samurai Jack season 5 would be airing as part of its Adult Swim programming block, at some point in the future. Both official artwork and interviews with the creative personnel involved with the show’s revival (including, Tartakovsky as an executive producer) have since then been released, but without any word on when, exactly, Samurai Jack‘s new season will premiere. Fortunately, that is no longer the case.
A short social media Q&A that was aired recently on Adult Swim recently revealed that Samurai Jack season 5 will premiere in less than two months (from the time of writing this), on Saturday, March 11th at 11: 30 p.m. EST. You can watch the video confirming the news (as was posted online via Twitter), below:
The premiere of the new season of Samurai Jack has finally been revealed. pic.twitter.com/qicRjJOYD4— Nate (@CabooseJr) January 23, 2017
Similar to live-action TV show revivals/sequels like Fuller House and Girl Meets World from the past couple of years, Samurai Jack season 5 will “soft reboot” the franchise; allowing those who missed the season 4 finale and/or are only familiar with the basic premise of Samurai Jack to be able to keep up with things in season 5 from the get-go. Tartakovsky himself has indicated that a fair amount has changed in Jack’s world since last we saw him, having even described season 5 as a story about Jack searching for redemption and “trying to find who he is again.”
If that description makes Samurai Jack season 5 sound a bit more adult and mature in its thematic design than seasons past, that’s because it is – or so says Tartakovsky. The original artwork released for the revival season features Jack covered in blood and looking far more ragged than usual; something that reflects how there’s “more darkness” in season 5, according to Tartakovsky. That slight change in tone of Samurai Jack is not only indicative of the show’s new home on Cartoon Network being Adult Swim (which caters to a more adult crowd in general), but also the fact that the returning members of the Samurai Jack fanbase are older now themselves.
There will be other noticeable differences in Samurai Jack season 5 compared to seasons past; most notably the voice of Aku, what with original voice actor Mako having passed away over a decade ago. Nevertheless, the TV show was a unique hybrid of genre elements that was further elevated through its stylized animation back in the 2000s and based on what’s been revealed about the revival season thus far, that should continue to be the case now – even if Jack’s world has grown a little darker and more dangerous, since last we visited it.