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Daria’s Mystik Spiral Almost Got Their Own Spinoff Before Jodie

A Daria spinoff series about Trent Lane’s band Mystik Spiral was briefly in the works at MTV long before Jodie Landon got her own animated film.

Daria fans recently got some good news about MTV Entertainment Studios’ planned Jodie spinoff. While it certainly took some time getting there, the project has seemingly taken its final form as an animated film after previously being developed as a series. The film still lacks a release date, but considering the fact that it’s already set a full voice cast, it seems safe to say that Jodie will arrive sooner rather than later. That would make it the first Daria spinoff to see the light of day — but not the first to be attempted.

Around the time Daria concluded its initial run 20 years ago, there were plans for a spinoff series focusing on Mystik Spiral, the local grunge band fronted by Trent Lane — older brother of Daria Morgendorffer’s best friend Jane Lane and Daria’s one-time crush. However, MTV’s Mystik Spiral ultimately went unproduced… though a pilot script was eventually released to the public.

RELATED: Daria: The Planned Jodie Spinoff Can Be A Great Revival – Here’s Why

Created by Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis Lynn, Daria premiered on MTV in March 1997 and ran for five seasons through 2001. The show concluded with its second television film Is It College Yet?, which first aired in January 2002. Considering how much of a drastic departure it was from its source material, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that Daria was a Beavis and Butt-Head spinoff, coming a few years after Mike Judge introduced the world to the two stupidest teenagers alive.

Daria followed the title character and her family after their move from Beavis and Butt-Head’s hometown of Highland to the more upscale suburb of Lawndale. Thanks to this change of scenery, Daria met a slew of new people including Jodie Landon, Brittany Taylor, Kevin Thompson and, of course, Jane and Trent. Introduced in Season 1, Episode 2, “The Invitation,” Trent is best described as the personification of the ’90s grunge craze.

RELATED: Will a King of the Hill Revival Force Bobby to Grow Up?

A broke, unemployed twentysomething, Trent had dreams of making it big as a musician — though he never seemed especially motivated to make those dreams a reality. In his very first appearance, he asserted that sleeping with a guitar in your hands counts as practicing, as long as you don’t drop it. Similar laconic assertions followed.

Over the course of the show, viewers were introduced to Trent’s band Mystik Spiral, who often thought about changing their name but likewise didn’t get around to it. The band was never portrayed as being especially great, with Trent himself once joking that he would have ditched one of Mystik Spiral’s shows if he wasn’t a member. They still managed to book gigs pretty consistently, though, which has to count for something.

RELATED: That Time When Superman Was Trapped On…MTV?!

Based on the Mystik Spiral pilot script — which was released on the Daria: The Complete Animated Series DVD set in 2010 — the spinoff would have broken off from Daria in much the same way Daria diverged from Beavis and Butt-Head. The pilot opens with the eponymous band playing their new song “Incontinent Love” for a crowd of seven people. In an attempt to breathe new life into their career, they leave Lawndale in their rear view and move to the town of Mirage. Furthermore, much like how Daria never directly mentioned the characters of Beavis and Butt-Head, Daria and Jane are noticeably absent from the Mystik Spiral pilot.

In addition to sharing the script itself, Eichler provided some background information on the scrapped spinoff. The script was actually the third draft he had written. Eichler recalls turning this draft in to MTV around March 2002 — about two months after Daria ended. Shortly after that, MTV Animation shut down and the spinoff was never made. According to the Daria co-creator, “Re-reading [the script] today, my only regret is that I never got to hear ‘Incontinent Love’ set to music.” But if Beavis and Butt-Head can get another movie, which happens to have a Daria reference in it, maybe he’ll get another chance someday.

Noah E. Dominguez is a news editor at Comic Book Resources who joined the site as a news writer in the summer of 2018. He even writes features on occasion. He has also written for sites like WhatCulture and Gaming Access Weekly (formerly Gamer Assault Weekly), and holds a degree in mass communication. What will he do next? Stay tuned. You can follow him on Twitter at @NoahDominguez_

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