SyFy’s ’12 Monkeys’ TV Series Trailer: I’ll Be Erased

Published 9 months ago by

Back in the 1990s, when superhero movies were mostly a punchline, Quentin Tarantino had really only two movies under his belt and the idea of Tom Hanks winning back-to-back Oscars seemed insane, the great Monty Python alum Terry Gilliam was still struggling to get his films made within the Hollywood studio system. Then came the 1995 film Twelve Monkeys.

Based very loosely on a 1962 French short film called La JetéeTwelve Monkeys followed an emotionally disturbed inmate from a grim, post-apoclayptic future, James Cole (Bruce Willis), who is sent back in time to identify the parties responsible for unleashing a world-killing plague.

Co-starring Madeleine Stowe as a psychiatrist who comes to believe him and a jittery Brad Pitt as a psycho rich kid who masterminds an underground eco-terrorist group called the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, Gilliam’s chilly sci-fi masterpiece may still be his most accessible movie, not to mention his last great film.

About a year ago, we first heard that SyFy was going ahead with a TV series adaptation of 12 Monkeys in the form of a 90-minute backdoor pilot. The show was then ordered to series, and now we have the first trailer for 12 Monkeys, which you can watch above.

Aaron Stanford in 12 Monkeys SyFys 12 Monkeys TV Series Trailer: Ill Be Erased

This new take on 12 Monkeys stars Aaron Stanford (Pyro in X-Men: The Last Stand) as Cole, Amanda Schull (Suits) as Stowe’s character Dr. Railly and Kirk Acevedo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) as an apparent friend of Cole’s. From what we can make out in the trailer, Cole looks to be more of a volunteer this time around, and was evidently sent back in time by Railly herself.

Fans of the ’95 film may miss Gilliam’s signature surrealism and warped worldview, but this 12 Monkeys is being guided by sure-handed TV veterans in the form of Nikita and Terra Nova alumni Travis Fickett and Terry Matalas and appears to deviate significantly from its source material. Not only does Cole seem far more mentally coherent, but his larger mission seems to be to locate one Leland Frost, played here by character actor extraordinaire Zeljko Ivanek (True Blood), with plenty of mystery still untouched.

For instance, the Army of the Twelve Monkeys is only teased visually, and the whole trailer suggests that there’s at least one whole level of conspiracy still yet to be revealed. While the evident production values and tone seem to tip into cornball territory here and there, there should be enough intrigue here to lure fans of the movie – out of curiosity, if nothing else.

12 Monkeys premieres on SyFy in January of 2015.

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
TAGS: 12 monkeys
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  1. this could be good like in each ep he goes back to try an solve the problem

    intill everything is Fixed

  2. Looks so much better than the movie. I like it, but hope it doesn’t go all Edge of Tomorrow with the love story (which was a good movie).

    • Dude you are completely insane if you think this even comes close to the movie, ooo look! a low budget typical hazard suit scene with a cheesy lil flame thrower shooting plumes at nothing, disinfect, woo woo, compare that nonsense with the performances of Pitt, Willis, Madeline Stowe, and Gilliams directing, yes to say and think that is quite hogwash.

    • No, no, this cannot stand. This show may very well be entertaining, for what it is, but let’s have some perspective.

      After watching this trailer, you honestly think that a TV movie pilot, with a B and C list cast and a TV budget, on the SyFy channel – that well known source of quality and creativity – looks “so much better” than Terry Gilliam’s film?

      This is why we can’t have nice things.

      When so many viewers like you have so little taste, and not the slightest appreciation of the qualities that have to work together to make a film good – everything from set design and lighting to script and direction, a production company knows it doesn’t have to bother spending the time and money to make something genuinely good. It can churn out any old crap and still get sufficient audience figures to please its customers, the companies who are paying for advertising time.

      And the unfortunate truth is that the advertisers probably like it that way. Good shows – at least, those shows which require a little thought – attract viewers with critical thinking. Second and third rate shows (which this probably is, lets be honest) attract viewers who are far less discerning, and far more likely to be influenced by adverts. 80% of the return on TV advertising comes from the audience demographic rated in the lowest 20% of education and intelligence – which is why so many shows are so painfully stupid. They’re designed to attract painfully stupid viewers, who are the most valuable commodity because they’ll not only watch but believe adverts.

      Rant over.

      • One thought about the fact TG built a hundred movies with his great work, so this series doesn’t need to break new ground, for me its more than enough to expound on and revisit with the patience and consideration.

    • Man, you deserve to die for that comment, srsly now..

  3. I wouldn’t call the writers of shows like Nikita and Terra Nova as “sure-handed veterans”. After checking out the trailer, it’ll be yet another scifi…excuse me…syfy series that has a great premise, but falls completely short of expectations, BSG aside. Helix was mildly entertaining, only for the quirky music and the Rocketeer as the lead.

    • I only stuck with Helix purely to find out what the hell was going on, wasn’t satisfied at all. Didn’t even know who any of the cast were until I looked them up and even then, still no freakin’ clue (never saw The Rocketeer, it looked terrible so I avoided it).

  4. If this show is remotely good, it won’t last more than two seasons. If it’s terrible, it will be on for ten years.

    Because it’s on the SyFy Channel.

    • The Big Bang Theory isn’t on SyFy but that’s also a terrible show that’s been on for almost 10 years.

      • See also: 2.5 Men.

  5. This is going to be another ‘LOST’, I’m sure that the writers have some ideas but the basic plot of the movie was already a great idea. But knowing Syfy, he is going to fight the twelve monkeys one each episode.
    1 The spider Monkey
    2 The capuchin
    3 The squirrel monkey
    4 the grivet
    5 The Macaque…

    • “But knowing Syfy, he is going to fight the twelve monkeys one each episode.”

      That almost made me shoot hot coffee through my nose in laughter. Thank you. SO TRUE.

  6. i want this to be good but feels horrible in my opinion. I’d like to be wrong lol

  7. Cheesy production values. Looks like it totally lacks the dark, brooding, infinite loop futility of Le Jetee and 12 Monkeys.

  8. Twelve Monkeys is about science getting out of control and then using the timeline to repair the damage. Research info does not recognize good or bad intentions. Once a knowledge is brought forth we must contend with its possible uses. Twelve Monkeys warns of a time when the criminal element has breached the “things of God”.

  9. with ebola going on, this is really in bad taste

    • Ebola has been around solo much longer than first movie so was it in bad taste ?

  10. Scyfy you can have this one but please leave the rest of gilliam’s films alone kthnx.

    P.s. I won’t watch this out of spiiite ]:3

  11. would be helpful to have a fellow traveler to tell us which virus was significant

  12. “Very loosely” based on a 1962 short film called La jetee, really ?
    Come on, it’s a remake, with the exact same plot, twist, characters, and even shots.

    You obviously haven’t watched it, and you should.

    • I suspect that you haven’t watched le jetee my friend as it is a set of b&w stills assembled together in some really unintelligible and disordered fashion – I never really understood why this was lauded as the basis for 12 monkeys – I enjoy good sci-fi/fantasy movies and wish this one every success

  13. The pilot was really encouraging and I have just watched ep2 – I really want syfy to make something really special and not ditsy around with crap stories as they have in the past – this seems to be a really great rendition of 12 Monkeys and I have enjoyed every minute of it so far – the ’95 version of 12 Monkeys is one of my favourite movies of all time btw

    Awesome group of fans that discuss theories and speculate on aspects of the show. We do polls and are VERY ACTIVE…. Hope to see you all around.