Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events books have garnered a loyal following of fans and captured many an imagination with their unique brand of downbeat humor, gothic imagery and quirky characters. As such, the 2004 movie adaptation starring Jim Carrey perhaps should have seen more success than it was - and the fact the project didn't lead to full franchise (as its studio expected) can only be considered a disappointment.
Fans' spirits were lifted in November 2014, however, when online streaming giants Netflix announced that it would be adapting the novels into a TV series and it was later revealed that Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) would be taking over from Carrey as primary antagonist Count Olaf. A teaser trailer for the series has since been released, featuring Patrick Warburton in the role of fictitious author Lemony Snicket - warning viewers not to watch the upcoming series due to its "upsetting and unnerving" content.
With the series slated to drop in January 2017, a more substantial teaser trailer has now arrived. The clip features all three Baudelaire children (Violet, Klaus and Sunny) as well as Neil Patrick Harris' Olaf and K. Todd Freeman's Mr. Poe. The teaser focuses on setting up Olaf as the series' arch criminal, briefing viewers on his evil exploits and several large hints are dropped concerning the Count's evil intentions towards the Baudelaire children. You can check out photos of NPH as Count Olaf, below:
This initial footage from the series looks suitably bleak and fantastical, retaining the gothic scenery and overblown characters from the books. Neil Patrick Harris manages to be both sinister and charismatic and the few lines of dialogue present suggest a knowingly over-dramatic tone will underpin the series. Fans of the books will no doubt spot that the trailer also includes several nods towards plot points that will likely become important as the series progresses.
The teaser's obvious authenticity to the source material is likely to please Snicket (real name Daniel Handler) fans - and while Neil Patrick Harris' Olaf doesn't have the same physical presence as Jim Carrey's version of the character, early indications suggest his performance will more than compensate for this. Of course Carrey's 2004 movie was also relatively faithful to the novels and yet still failed to live up to expectations. However, the A Series of Unfortunate Events series is arguably better suited to the TV show format than a movie one, with the film adaptation attempting to cover an entire three books' worth of material.
Netflix's A Series Unfortunate Events will consist of eight episodes and Neil Patrick Harris has previously stated that every two episodes will cover one of Snicket's books - meaning that the first season will cover the first four of the author's original thirteen novels. Some fans may feel that this pace will prove too fast to effectively do the source material justice and therefore the series could potentially suffer the same problems as the movie adaptation. However if the project is a success, Netflix will still have nine more books - almost two more seasons by the current rate - to work with - and, if the series proves popular, could take more time exploring Snicket's wonderfully depressing world.
A Series of Unfortunate Events debuts on Netflix on January 13th, 2017.