Back in the summer it was reported that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci had developed a new series based on the Washington Irving short story ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’. The pilot was picked up by Fox and it looks like the network is quickly moving forward, as not only have they found two cast members for the first episode, but also revealed a new sci-fi twist to the tale.
Originally it was reported that ‘Sleepy Hollow’ would be set in modern times with Ichabod Crane partnering up with a female sheriff to solve “mysterious and supernatural crimes and occurrences’ in the town of Sleepy Hollow.
Details of the pilot’s script has now been released and while the story of Ichabod Crane is normally one dealing with the supernatural, Orci and Kurtzman’s version brings in a new sci-fi twist. Here, Ichabod is actually a captain in the Revolutionary War who has “been to hell and back.” (Whether or not that wording should be taken literally is unknown but it would put an interesting spin on the story.) He finds himself catapulted to contemporary Sleepy Hollow where he’s accused of murdering a police officer. Now he must prove his innocence and make the detective on his case believe he’s a time traveler from the 18th century.
The lead female role for the pilot has gone to Nicole Beharie (‘Shame’, ’42’). Beharie will play Abbie Archer, a smart and tough detective in the small town of Sleepy Hollow. Here’s a full description of the role:
Poised to leave the town in a week for the FBI Academy, she has an unspoken reluctance about her decision. Her troubling past causes her to doubt her perceptive abilities and she’s horrified as she witnesses the gory slaying of her partner and mentor, Sheriff August Grey. Barely able to speak about what she saw, only one person can corroborate her story — Ichabod Crane, an unwilling fugitive from the past who claims to be a soldier in the Revolutionary War.
Orlando Jones has been given the role of Lt. Frank Williams, the uptight professional detective assigned to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the double homicide. Jones has been in numerous television and movie productions and viewers may recognize him from his work on ‘Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant’, ‘Necessary Roughness’, and ‘Rules of Engagement’.
Katia Winter will play the wife of Ichabod Crane back in the 18th century where she is a nurse with the 37th Regiment in the Revolutionary War. Winter is fresh off her stint as Nadia from last season’s ‘Dexter’.
At the moment, the key roles of Crane and the female sheriff have not been cast but with pilot filming season in full swing, news of who will play these roles should roll out soon.
Considering Orci and Kurtzman were the same people who gave Fox ‘Fringe’, no doubt this pilot will have quite a few twists and turns. The two will pen the episode as well as executive produce and already has Len Wisemen (‘Total Recall’, ‘Hawaii 5-0’) attached to direct.
This isn’t the only ‘Sleepy Hollow’ project in the works as the CW is developing their own version which has only been described as a “boundary pushing horror story for television”.
So which version will you be watching? The sci-fi/ supernatural Fox version or the boundary pushing horror CW one?