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Celebrity Deathmatch Being Revived By MTV & Ice Cube

MTV Studios is set to create a revival of the late 1990s/early 2000s animated show Celebrity Deathmatch, with Ice Cube serving as star and producer. For the uninitiated, Celebrity Deathmatch was a stop-motion animated series that mostly lived up to its title. Each episode contained three fights pitting two or more celebrities against each other in a battle to the death, although a select few did see historical legacy characters fight, such as when Sherlock Holmes threw down with Jack the Ripper.

Two pilot episodes for Celebrity Deathmatch aired in January 1998, with the series proper debuting in May of that year. The original run consisted of four seasons total, and ended in 2002. A brief revival was attempted in 2006, but it was canceled before the end of 2007. The comedic bouts were called by animated commentary duo Johnny Gomez and Nick Diamond, and refereed by a stop-motion version of real-life boxing referee Mills Lane. WWE - which aired its Sunday Night Heat program on MTV in the early 2000s - would also send over "Stone Cold" Steve Austin on occasion, voicing himself.

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Another revival of Celebrity Deathmatch was announced in 2015, but MTV didn't end up ordering it to series. Now, it looks like a revival/reboot will indeed happen, according to Variety. MTV Studios is unsurprisingly behind this new take on Celebrity Deathmatch, but what's more surprising is the involvement of rapper/actor Ice Cube, who will executive produce and star in the revival. It's unclear what Cube would actually be doing on the show, although serving as host or part of the commentary team seems a viable option. Series creator Eric Fogel will return to executive produce alongside Cube.

The new Celebrity Deathmatch is expected to be ready to go sometime in 2019, although interestingly, no network or streaming outlet is attached as of yet. Producers plan to shop the series around, and while a return to MTV might seem a natural prospect, MTV is far from the same channel it was in 1998, and there's a good chance Celebrity Deathmatch wouldn't fit into its current programming line-up.

It's unknown whether original commentators Gomez and Diamond will be brought back, or whether their original voice actors (Maurice Schlafer and and Len Maxwell, respectively) would want to return, as they didn't reprise their roles for the 2006 revival. The same could be said for Mills Lane, who's now in his 80s, and couldn't return in 2006 for health reasons. Amusingly, Ice Cube has actually appeared on Celebrity Deathmatch before, albeit as an animated contestant. A season 2 episode pitted Cube against similarly named rapper/actor Ice-T, which ended with a Cube victory following a run-in by Vanilla Ice.

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Source: Variety

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