As more great films get made into TV shows, we can expect some excellent versions of beloved films, and some not-so-excellent ones. FX’s Fargo, for instance, has been a rousing success, due mostly to its departure from the actual plot of the original. Will the same prove true for Syfy’s attempt to do a TV series based around Terry Gilliam’s brilliantly crazed 12 Monkeys? Based on the new trailer, the answer is…maybe.
A strong maybe, though. Syfy’s 12 Monkeys does indeed seem to follow the plot of the original film. Aaron Sanford takes on the Bruce Willis part as Cole, a time-traveler from a dystopian future sent back in order to stop a deadly plague outbreak that would later claim the lives of pretty much everyone. He’s aided in his quest by Kathryn Railly (Amanda Schull, in the part originally played by Madeleine Stowe). Not all is as it seems though – it usually isn’t – and there are twists and turns aplenty…presumably enough to justify an entire TV series.
This latest trailer certainly reinforces the connection between the original film and its TV series, appearing to follow the same plot and the same characters. Of course, even with the same premise it could still go off into its own plotlines and develop sections of the story perhaps left untouched by a two-hour feature film. I hope that they do opt to do something new with the story, because why do we need a TV show that simply apes an original film? I can watch Gilliam’s work any time I like.
Syfy has promised that their 12 Monkeys is going to be different, though, so I guess we can take them at their word. The trailers still look an awful lot like the movie to me, but you can watch and decide for yourself.
12 Monkeys will premiere on January 16, 2015 at 9 pm, on Syfy.