Syfy re-imagines fairy tales for new series of Saturday films

Syfy announced today that it will add a series of new original fantasy films to its schedule of Saturday Original Movies, based on classic fairy tales and legends.

The new series kicks off with Beauty and the Beast on Feb. 27, followed by re-imaginings of Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Aladdin and other stories.

Following is the official announcement.

SYFY UNVEILS NEW SATURDAY NIGHT ORIGINAL MOVIES RE-IMAGINED CLASSIC FAIRY TALES, LEGENDS AND POP CULTURE CHARACTERS FROM LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD TO HANSEL AND GRETEL

KICKS OFF WITH PREMIERE OF BEAUTY AND THE BEAST SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27, AT 9PM (ET/PT)

New York, NY - February 1, 2010 -- Syfy announced today it is adding a new Saturday Original Movies genre to its popular mix, re-imagining classic fairy tales, legends and pop culture characters -- from Little Red Riding Hood, Aladdin and Sinbad the Sailor to Hansel and Gretel -- beginning with the premiere of Beauty and the Beast on Saturday, February 27, at 9PM (ET/PM).

Starring Estella Warren (Planet of the Apes), Beauty and the Beast is not the traditional Disney fairy tale. In this gritty celebration of Valentine's Day, a young Beauty (Warren) with a gift for healing helps a deformed Prince (Rhett Gilles, Wraiths of Roanoke) regain his throne and defeat the ruthless nobleman who wants to be king -- and then together they try to destroy a power-hungry witch. Beauty and the Beast was directed by David Lister and written by Gavin Scott.

Said Thomas Vitale, Executive Vice President, Programming and Original Movies, Syfy: "By turning familiar timeless stories inside out -- like retelling Little Red Riding Hood as a werewolf tale or envisioning a dark version of Shrek -- we're creating an entertaining new genre for our popular Saturday night movie franchise, which has become the television destination for fans of action-packed independent sci-fi, horror and fantasy films."

During 2009, the 22 Syfy Saturday Original Movies averaged nearly two million total viewers (1.8 million) across the channel's twice-monthly original presentations. Syfy is one of television's most prolific producers of original movies.

Vitale also announced a preliminary development slate for the new line of Syfy Original Movies including:

o Red -- A young woman who is a descendant of the real Little Red Riding Hood brings her fiancé home, where he meets the family and learns about their business - hunting werewolves. He's skeptical until bitten by a werewolf. When her family insists he must be killed, Red tries saving him.

o Hansel -- Twenty years after his encounter with the witch, a grown-up Hansel returns to the haunted forest, seeking revenge. But there's a surprise waiting - his sister Gretel (who he thought had been killed) is the witch's protégée.

o 8TH Voyage of Sinbad -- Sinbad searches for the golden head of the long lost Colossus of Rhodes and, instead, discovers an island where the mythical Minotaur still rules, protecting a vast treasure. Sinbad and his crew have to battle the creature and its minions to get the treasure and save their own lives.

o Aladdin (working title) -- After accidentally releasing an evil genie from an ancient lamp, Aladdin must find a way to imprison the genie again before it wreaks havoc on the world.

o Black Forest -- A group of naïve tourists take a sightseeing tour into a supposed enchanted forest, where they encounter evil creatures from the world of fantasy. Trapped in the Black Forest, their only hope of survival is fighting their way out.

Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in 95 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)

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