12 Monkeys producer promises Syfy series is a 'complete reimagining’

If you were wondering how Syfy’s upcoming 12 Monkeys series will stretch the film’s plot over 13 episodes, you can stop — because that’s not the story they’re telling.

While talking to reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, co-executive producer Terry Matala noted they’re taking the broad concept from Terry Gilliam’s 1995 classic and turning it into a “gritty time-traveling show.”

The series will focus on a time traveler, Cole (Aaron Stanford) from the post-apocalyptic future who is sent to the present day on a mission to identify and destroy the source of a deadly plague that will eventually kill off the human race. That’s where the similarities end, though, and the producers note they’ll be time-hopping to eras ranging from World War I to the 1980s during the run.

Check out an excerpt from Matala’s comments below:

“It’s a complete reimagining. We were all big fans of the original film and had a deep love and respect for the material. We didn’t want to just redo what the movie does. Everything from the top down changed … We wanted it to be grounded and closer to a thriller but that’s not to say we wont play with tone.”

The series will also take some touches from modern-day sci-fi, and the producers confirmed that the time travel effects were partially inspired by Rian Johnson’s stellar Looper. The series will also make some nods and homages to the original film, with some characters and situations carrying over at times.

The series is slated to debut in January 2015. Do you think Gilliam’s tale can translate to television?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

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