It’s only five short seconds long, and you can could watch the whole thing five times while holding your breath. And that’s exactly how you’d have to watch it, because those five measly seconds contain some gobsmacking news. Five seconds, and five simple words: “SAMURAI JACK, [adult swim], 2016.” So it has been written and so it shall be: Genndy Tartakovsky has returned to Cartoon Network to deliver unto us the stylized samurai majesty for which we have pined so long.
The animated series ran for 52 glorious episodes from 2001 through 2004 on Cartoon Network before getting shuffled around to reruns on the late-night Adult Swim Toonami block, continuously amassing devotees due to its distinctive visual flair, well-curated pop-cultural touchstones (creator Tartakovsky drew influence from Akira Kurosawa and David Lean for the look of the show) and ravishing action sequences. Samurai Jack‘s cancellation didn’t distance Tartakovsky from Cartoon Network, however; he created the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars series and acted as supervisor on The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. But Tartakovsky would find more success in the world of film, stepping in as animation director for The Powerpuff Girls Movie and How to Eat Fried Worms and moving up to direct Hotel Transylvania and its sequel. The gifted animator ran up against a bit of a stumbling block when his scheduled Popeye project got derailed and sent to development hell. But if that meant sending him here, at least it was for the greater good.