Post-apocalyptic dramas are fairly trendy on the big and small screen right now. It’s no surprise that a network like Syfy would like to get into the post-apocalyptic game. Now, the network is hoping to do so by adapting 12 Monkeys to the small screen. Talks have been in the works for a little while and on Tuesday it was reported that Syfy is close to a series order for 12 Monkeys.
The premise has been expanded upon several times. In 1962, Chris Marker created La Jetée, a short film that would later be expanded into the 12 Monkeys movie fans have come to know and love. The premise of the movie follows a future in which humanity is forced to live underground after a deadly virus wreaks havoc on the surface of the Earth. In the future, scientists begin to use an unreliable new time travel technology in order to try and keep the deadly virus from taking hold in the past. The 1995 film starred Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, and Madeleine Stowe.
Syfy president of original programming Mark Stern told THR recently that the network already has a full pilot put together for the series and, hopefully, we will learn whether or not the network will move forward with a series based on the film soon.
"We have a great pilot. We're now flushing out what the rest of the series might be.”
If the project moves forward, Syfy is considering a 90-minute backdoor pilot that would then lead into a full episode order for the series. Syfy has done this oftentimes in the past, with the TV movie for Battlestar Galactica being the most prominent recent example I can think of. Nikita and Terra Nova writers Terry Matalas and Travis Fick are signed on to pen the pilot. 24’s Jon Cassar is directing and Atlas Entertainment, a company involved with the 1995 film, initially pitched the show to the network.
With programs like Alphas ending and shows like Warehouse 13 hitting the tail end of its run, Syfy is looking to produce new programming that will hopefully resonate with fans of the network. At the forefront of this programming initiative is Ron Moore’s Helix, which has been teased heavily over the past several months and even made an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con. In order to accommodate plenty of new programming, Stern says Syfy hopes to pull together 8-10 episode orders rather than the regular 13 the network normally signs on for.
"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... It's an exciting time for us."
Along with 12 Monkeys, Syfy has a few other pilots in the works, including High Moon from Bryan Fuller and M. Night Shyamalan’s Proof. We’ll let you know if 12 Monkeys moves forward in the coming months.