While Syfy always has a presence at Comic-Con, not much was really talked about aside from Ronald Moore’s upcoming series about a potential world ending infection in Helix. However, thanks to some work by The Hollywood Reporter, we’ve found out that they are also creating a new series based off of Terry Gilliam’s science fiction classic ’12 Monkeys’.
Chuck Roven (‘Batman Begins’, ‘The Dark Knight’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘, ‘Man of Steel‘, ‘Warcraft‘) and Richard Suckle (‘Fallen’, ‘The International’) of Atlas Entertainment are planning to produce. They’ve pitched the pilot to air in the same way ‘Battlestar Galactica’ did with a 90 minute pilot that leads directly into the series. Jon Cassar (’24’) is planning to direct and the show will be written by Terry Matalas (‘Star Trek: Enterprise‘) and Travis Fickett (‘Terra Nova‘). Site note: 24 is one of my favorite shows all time and to have one of it’s directors aboard and writers who have worked on such great science fiction? I’d be interested even if I hadn’t loved the movie and was already wanting to see what they do.
The movie had Bruce Willis playing James Cole who was a convicted criminal. He was from a post-apocalyptic future and was being given the opportunity to travel back into the past so that they could find out what exactly caused the future. All they knew is that it had something to do with the Army of the Twelve Monkeys and if they could find out more, it would possibly find a way to prevent the future from happening in the first place.
It was a great piece on time travel and really had an amazing cast with Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Jon Seda, and Madeleine Stowe. Willis and Pitt’s characters truly stood out and would clearly be the focus of the show. Honestly it’d be hard to find someone to surpass Pitt’s performance in this one and I’d love to see how they cast it and where they went in an ongoing series format.
Syfy’s president of original programming Mark Stern had this to say about what he’s seen so far:
We have a great pilot. We’re now flushing out what the rest of the series might be.
It looks like this new 90 minute pilot lead in to a series format is something Syfy is going to be heavily invested on in the upcoming years:
“We’re looking at short orders, maybe eight to 10 [episodes] as opposed to 13. Some may be [split runs of] 10 and 10. Our goal is to do five or six original scripted series a year and a big tentpole event miniseries that could also possibly serve as a backdoor pilot to a series as well, the way that ‘Battlestar Galactica’ did. It’s an exciting time for us. We’re really trying to figure out what our next year is going to be. We have ‘Helix‘ in January; we’re trying to figure out what our summer series is going to be. We have a lot of different options. We know that ‘Defiance’ is going to come back in the summer, and the last six episodes of ‘Warehouse 13’ are going to be back along with ‘Defiance’. Then there’s this big gray zone after that of what follows. We definitely have a miniseries we want to try to do for December of 2014 — Jamie Foxx‘s is a series of half-hours we might do for Halloween of 2014. We’re looking to do a big four-hour miniseries — a tentpole mini — at the end of 2014, and we’re trying to figure out what that’s going to be.”
Does that mean we’re finally going to see more original programming on Syfy? It looks like that’s the case! With shows like ‘Stargate‘, ‘Battlestar Galactica’, ‘Eureka‘, and ‘Warehouse 13’ doing so well in the past and the success of ‘Defiance’ it’s clear that the station should keep in this direction, and they agree!
We have a half-dozen scripts that are all pretty amazing in their own way. It’s a return to our roots in terms of science fiction: cool, interesting push-the-genre science fiction. Some we’re looking at doing straight to series, because you really want to give them the flexibility and do a closed-ended, arced run. Some of them are going to be traditional pilots, and then we’ll decide and they may be a bit more episodic.”
’12 Monkeys’ is the type of film that could easily translate into an ongoing series. With the time travel portions stretched out further over episodes and being able to continue on where the movie left off, this could open all kinds of possibilities for a show.
Would you be willing to visit a second time traveling show on Syfy in tangent with ‘Continuum‘? More importantly who would you want them to cast for Pitt’s character?