Bryan Fuller Discusses His ‘Munsters’ Reboot, ‘Mockingbird Lane’

Published 3 years ago by

munsters pilot reboot details Bryan Fuller Discusses His Munsters Reboot, Mockingbird Lane

Early script details on the pilot episode for Bryan Fuller’s rebooted take on The Munsters (now retitled Mockingbird Lane) certainly painted a vastly different picture than the one which springs to most people’s minds. That is, when they think of the original, old-fashioned, wholesome 1960s family sitcom – which just happens to revolve around classic Universal monster types – that became all the more popular during the decades following its initial two-season run.

In a recent interview, the Pushing Daisies creator discussed how the vastly different nature of the characters and modern setting featured in Mockingbird Lane paved the way for a title change – while also touching on the divisive issue of remaking and/or rebooting cherished properties (among other things).

Here is Fuller talking about his hopes for Mockingbird Lane (via Entertainment Weekly):

“We want this show to be an American Harry Potter. To have that sense of a magical world that you get to go to with your family and find stories told in a fantastical way that are instantly relatable. It’s an ‘American Horror Story’ that the whole family can watch.”

Bear in mind, Mockingbird Lane won’t be a completely family-friendly variation on FX’s disturbing American Horror Story series, as the pilot alone includes genuinely horrific examples of eating disorders (one of the Munsters like to cannibalize suicide victims) and the pangs of adolescence (young Eddie unexpectedly transforms into a werewolf). Think more the often-darkly whimsical tone of Pushing Daisies and you get the idea. As Fuller put it:

“The script is such a dramatic departure from the tone and style of the original show. If we continued to call the show ‘The Munsters’, people are just going to to think we’re doing ‘The Munsters’. We’re doing a reinvention and re-imagination of this property… What I love about the pilot story is it’s about a family who loves each other and they have a child [Eddie, the werewolf] with a disability and they’re trying to craft a path for that child so he can have a happy life — they just happen to be monsters. And, unlike in the original, we’re going to see our monsters do monstrous things.”

mockingbird lane conceptual art Bryan Fuller Discusses His Munsters Reboot, Mockingbird Lane

Conceptual Art for 'Mockingbird Lane'

Mockingbird Lane is just one of two projects Fuller is heading wherein older material will be refashioned as entertainment for a new generation of viewers (the other being Hannibal). As the writer/showrunner worded it:

“I’m personally, as an audience member, not afraid of remakes. I’m afraid of bad remakes, which is unfortunately more commonly the case. Which is why I think people get up in arms when they see a remake idea — “Oh they’re remaking something that’s been done before, what hackery, there’s no original thoughts in Hollywood.” But there’s a great quote that no art exists without the art before it. We’re doing our work to make our versions distinct and also respectable of their respective source material…”

Fuller is perhaps most well-renowned for his original television work (Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies), but he’s previously found more success by contributing creatively to established properties – including, two different Star Trek TV series (Voyager and Deep Space Nine) – not to mention, he was instrumental in re-imagining classic comic book superhero archetypes on Heroes. If nothing else, that qualifies Fuller to have a go at re-inventing something like The Munsters too.

Look for the Mockingbird Lane pilot to premiere on NBC in early 2013.


Source: EW

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  1. An American Horror Story that the whole family could watch would probably ruin the reasons why I liked AGS so much. It is unapologetically made for adults.
    Not excited about this project. Maybe Fuller will be able to sustain the quality and entertainment past the first season, unlike Heroes.
    Why not just make a new, original show? Why remake the old Munsters show? Ugh.

  2. Also not a fan of this. The original was campy enough that it worked and there was even a pseudo acceptance of the characters (well, until they met Herman up close for the first time). So how exactly is this show going to deal with a Cannibalistic werewolf child in the public school system and vampires/Frankenstein’s monster living within society?

    I don’t think anyone is really asking for a more edgy version of The Munsters. (and yes, contrary to common opinion from Hollywood, I know exactly what I do and don’t want)

  3. And still no info on Herman.

  4. Actually I think he’s known more on the shortness of his TV shows… all three of his original series (that I know of) only ran one or two seasons… (Wonderfalls 1 season, Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies 2 seasons). Any bets on how long this’ll last?

    • Half a season, if that. This is going to be a complete flop.

  5. I’d just like to live in that house…Very cool….

  6. I wish that I could be really excited being that I’m a huge Fuller fan, but I already know this show will be cancelled after only one or two incredible seasons, just like everything else Fuller does. I’m really getting sick of good shows getting canned just cuz most people have really bad taste in tv.

    • Or maybe he just makes really cr*ppy shows?

  7. I Agree with most that “Will Smith” will make a great Herman Munster to appeal to the African American Audiences with this series.

  8. Sounds like “Muck-up Bird Lane” will reverberate with audiences long after the final closing sequences and credits have rolled…reverberate with the sound of a commode flushing, that is! Sounds like utter you-know-what, and I will not watch it even for free on Netflix! Count me out!!!

  9. Sounds like Fuller should stick to selling toilet brushes door-to-door!

  10. Sorry, but this is a terrible idea. I still can’t believe that studios are letting Fuller make TV shows. The Munsters can NOT be redone, remade or re-imagined. It is a classic that worked because of the time period in which it was made and the actors that became those characters. This hack couldn’t make his own ideas work, so now he’s going to bastardize the creations of someone else.

  11. I’m 50/50 on Fuller’s work, but this sounds like he is trying to re-purpose other ideas he has and putting the Munsters name on them hoping they will stick. Television reboots have been doing worse then movie attempts, and this really sounds like it has too much going on to gain a sustained audience.

  12. Wow, just wow. On its own terms, it could be decent. But as a remake to a show a lot of us are familiar with, it seems like quite a reach. I agree, it sounds like using familiar characters to slap on other ideas that didn’t fly on their own. Still, I like Fuller’s work enough to give it a chance.

    “We want this show to be an American Harry Potter.”

    Grandpa: “Herman, you have to go face Voldemort and his minions now.”
    Herman: “Oh, darn, darn, darn!”

  13. I rember in the 70′s there was A made for TV movie with the orignal cast,except for Butch Patrick and Pat Preist. A few years later there was A syndcated version staring John Shuck as Herman. And A few years after that there was another made for TV movie with Edward Herman as Herman (funny) and Victoria Princpal as Lily. Now there going to try agin HOO’BOY.

  14. Bryan Fuller has a keen eye for visuals and a wonderful way with dialogue. I’ll watch whatever he cooks up, whether reimagined or something new. Pushing Daisies is a classic.

  15. Munsters is my favorite 60s show. Can’t believe how negative people can be before even seeing the work in progress. The sheer negativity is awful. I hope this idea succeeds and is done well, even if it doesn’t strike a popular cord.