Syfy Moving Ahead With Potential '12 Monkeys' TV Series

Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys

The Army of the Twelve Monkeys may have once again found an opportunity to wreak havoc, as Syfy recently announced it is looking into creating an ongoing television series based on Terry Gilliam's acclaimed 1995 time-travel film 12 Monkeys.

Two of the original film's producers, Chuck Roven and Richard Suckle, initially proposed the idea to Syfy, which led the network to consider first converting 12 Monkeys into a 90-minute backdoor pilot that would see Jon Cassar (24, Revolution) direct from a script by Nikita and Terra Nova writers Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett. The pilot would work similar to Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica, in that should the network choose to move forward with the series, the movie would segue seamlessly into the ongoing narrative, while serving as a standalone feature for the network to air in the event it is not given an order for more episodes.

At present, it seems despite having an attractive script for the pilot the question of what the ongoing plot of a 12 Monkeys series would look like is still up in the air. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Syfy president of original programming Mark Stern said, "We have a great pilot. We're now fleshing out what the rest of the series might be." 

Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys

Neither Stern nor Syfy were too forthcoming in regard to details that could demonstrate how Gilliam's non-linear time-traveling mindbender might be translated into an ongoing story, but with a minimum of two distinct timelines for the narrative to follow, it seems the series wouldn't have any shortage of potential storylines. In fact, with between 8 and 10 episodes at their disposal, any issue moving forward might simply be culling the potential storylines down into something that could be adequately serviced by a smaller than average episode order.

Stern said:

"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."

Bruce Willis 12 Monkeys

Stern went on to discuss the future of Syfy's original programming, as the network begins to make room for ambitious new shows like Ron D. Moore's Helix, Bryan Fuller's High Moon and Proof from M. Night Shyamalan. The development schedule is fairly crowded at the moment, but following the success of Defiance and the upcoming conclusion to Warehouse 13, Syfy is looking to have its slate filled with more and more content that appeals directly to the network's specific audience.

"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."

As a result, it looks as though Syfy is preparing to launch a slew of new series that will be a mixture of completely original programming and at least one new interpretation of a sci-fi cult favorite.


Screen Rant will keep you posted on any news regarding 12 Monkeys and the rest of Syfy's programming.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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