Neil Patrick Harris has had a wonderful career in television, including his nine-year stint as Barney Stinson on CBS’s How I Met Your Mother. But, now that the show has been over for a couple of years, he’s ready to move on to another scripted show.
A story from the Hollywood Reporter says that Neil Patrick Harris is considering appearing in the Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Netflix picked up the show in November 2014 with a straight to series order of 13 episodes. The premiere hasn’t been set yet.
A Series of Unfortunate Events is a series of 13 children’s books by Daniel Handler, under the pen name of Lemony Snicket. The series follows the unsettled lives of the Baudelaire siblings, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, after the death of their parents in a fire. The children are sent to live with a relative, Count Olaf, who is secretly scheming to steal their inheritance. When his plan fails, he begins to hunt the children, now out of his custody, down, leading to the death’s of several characters in the story. The series of novels has had commercial and critical success worldwide, with the books collectively selling over 60 million copies, which were translated into 41 languages.
Neil Patrick Harris is eyeing the part of Count Olaf, the same role played to showy villainy by Jim Carrey in the 2004 film adaptation Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. That story was based on the first three novels in the series, but there’s no word on which books the show will center on.
After hosting the variety show Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris for one 13 episode season last fall, this would be his first full time return to serialized TV. Harris’ role on How I Met Your Mother, as a happily unattached serial womanizer, garnered him an Emmy nomination each year from 2007 through 2010. After spending so much time on a sitcom, it’s understandable that Harris would want to try something different by delving into a drama, which is what this show is being billed as.
Of course, Neil Patrick Harris knows something about drama. He came into the public eye as a teenager on Doogie Howser, M.D., and has had dramatic roles on TV and in movies since then. Between that show ending in 1993 and the beginning of How I Met Your Mother in 2005, he had small parts in a variety of dramatic shows, including Murder She Wrote, Homicide: Life on the Street, Touched by an Angel and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. His film roles have included comedy and drama over the years. He’s gone from spoofing himself in the Harold & Kumar comedy franchise to creeping people out in 2014’s Gone Girl.
If this version of Count Olaf is anything like the one played by Jim Carrey in the film, it will, indeed, be interesting to see Neil Patrick Harris, always so recognizable on screen and usually lovable, as a mean old villain. But, if he can pull of that part in Gone Girl (and he did), then he can clearly handle any role he wants to.