The Netflix adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is finally released tomorrow (January 13th) after months of feverish anticipation from fans of the original book series. The show marks the second attempt at a live-action version of the Baudelaire story after a Jim Carrey-led movie was released back in 2004 – and although that release performed respectably at the box office, it failed to spark the multi-movie franchise its studio were clearly hoping it would.
With Neil Patrick Harris taking over from Carrey in the role of Count Olaf, A Series of Unfortunate Events follows the three Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, as they venture from one awful foster home to another and attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding their parents’ demise. From the footage shown in the trailer released last year, it appears as if Netflix have faithfully adopted the books’ macabre sense of humor and gothic imagery – and with Snicket (real name Daniel Handler) having a hand in the series’ production, it’s perhaps not a surprise that early reviews have been positive.
Despite the fact that the first season has yet to air however, Daniel Handler recently confirmed in an interview with EW that he is already hard at work on a second season and is hoping to work on a third. The author claims:
“I am deep in season two. I’ve been working in my own dining room with a team of writers I’m really loving on the next season and we hope to get the go-ahead to do season 3, which given how quickly young actors age and change, we’re trying to film everything as quickly as possible. The second season is laid out to be ten episodes for the next five books, so it ends on The Carnivorous Carnival and the third season would be the rest of it.”
For Handler and a team of writers to already be developing season two is perhaps an indication as to how much confidence Netflix has in A Series of Unfortunate Events and it’s reassuring that the team behind the series has a long-term plan as to which books are going to be adapted in each season. Of course, if the series’ first season absolutely bombs, it wouldn’t be out of the question for Netflix to pull the plug on future installments. Still, the signs are certainly encouraging that fans of the series will finally get to see the story play out to completion.
Perhaps part of the reason for the faith Netflix has shown in the project – as well as the positive reviews – is that A Series of Unfortunate Events arguably lends itself better to a television show than it does to a movie. The 2004 film attempted to cover the first three books in a single script, whereas the Netflix series gives each book two episodes to play out, leaving far more room to properly explore the gloomy world of Lemony Snicket and do justice to the story and characters within.
With that said, Handler’s comments do seem to infer that the Netflix adaptation has a three-season shelf-life. Franchises such as Harry Potter and Game of Thrones have recently sparked the debate as to how franchises based on books can live on after exhausting their source material and if A Series of Unfortunate Events does prove to be a hit, perhaps the current plans for seasons two and three be altered in an attempt to elongate the show’s tenure?
A Series of Unfortunate Events premieres January 13th on Netflix.