‘12 Monkeys’ Drama Gets Pilot Order At Syfy

EXCLUSIVE: Syfy has given a cast-contingent pilot order to 12 Monkeys, a drama series based on the 1995 Universal Pictures/Atlas Entertainment film directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. The 60-minute pilot, produced by Universal Cable Prods and Atlas Entertainment, was written on spec by Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett (Terra Nova). It follows the journey of a time traveler from the post-apocalyptic future who appears in present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will eventually decimate the human race. Filming is tentatively slated to begin in November. Atlas’ Charles Roven (The Dark Knight trilogy), who produced the feature, and Richard Suckle will executive produce, with Matalas and Fickett, repped by by ICM Partners and manager Brian Lutz, co-executive producing.

This is Syfy’s second consecutive pilot order to a sci-fi feature adaptation — last month the network greenlighted a 90-minute pilot for Dominion, a drama based on characters from the 2010 feature Legion. 12 Monkeys was among several hot projects at Syfy, which may not be done with its orders (pilot or straight to series.) The other top contenders included Clandestine, from actor-writer Todd Stashwick and artist Dennis Calero; Proof, from Marti Noxon and M. Night Shyamalan; and Sojourn, from Phil Levens, Jason Blum and Lionsgate.

Comments (31)

  • 12 Monkeys was loosely based on the French film La Jetee. Will Chris Marker get a credit?

    Comment by Kimberly — Monday August 26, 2013 @ 8:46am PDT  
  • Hahaha – love that picture of the writers… Trying so desperately to appear unaware of the camera as they study at a script together with headphones around their neck.

    “Why so serious?”

    Comment by CR — Monday August 26, 2013 @ 8:57am PDT  
  • No No No! Stay away from classics!

    Comment by DougW — Monday August 26, 2013 @ 9:04am PDT  
    • Classics? You’re kidding, right?

      At any rate, in Hollywood, originality marches on . . . .

      Comment by CynicalCritic — Monday August 26, 2013 @ 10:25am PDT  
  • 12 Monkeys: How much you want to bet they make the leads younger for the television series? Not CW young, of course, but still. The original movie’s ending was so tragic, although fitting for the film. For a TV show, I hope things somehow turn out better for humanity by the end, especially because TV shows are typically so much more of an audience’s time investment than movies. I know it’s cheesy, but I like happy endings!

    Comment by Kat — Monday August 26, 2013 @ 9:05am PDT  
  • Did La Jetee and the 12 Monkees film leave so many unanswered questions that we now need a new series?

    Comment by todd — Monday August 26, 2013 @ 9:06am PDT  
    • There is no LA JETEE. It was just a dream.

      Comment by anonymouse — Monday August 26, 2013 @ 9:57am PDT  
  • Wow, no Brad Pitt, Terry Gilliam or Bruce Willis back but we get Chucky Roven and Dick Suckle…

    No thanks.

    Comment by SyFy can do better — Monday August 26, 2013 @ 9:09am PDT  
    • Wow, angry much? Whats wrong with Roven? He seems to have done OK in hiring Nolan onto Batman.

      Comment by sv — Monday August 26, 2013 @ 3:42pm PDT  
  • Actually, “12 Monkeys” was based on the award-winning, French, short film “La Jetee” by the late Chris Marker.

    Comment by jjsemp — Monday August 26, 2013 @ 9:09am PDT  
  • The premise works as a 2 hour movie, but as a series, it’s bound to be tedious. The hero obviously can’t achieve the goal right away, so it’s just going to be one delaying action after another. Shows like this have big premieres, then shed audience quickly as everyone gets bored with the wheel-spinning.

    Comment by sffan — Monday August 26, 2013 @ 9:12am PDT  
    • Like “24″?

      Comment by Mike F — Monday August 26, 2013 @ 12:56pm PDT  
      • No. “24″ had a new threat every season.

        Comment by American — Monday August 26, 2013 @ 4:35pm PDT  
    • Also don’t this film and the original La Jetee operate on the premise that the future cannot be changed? Everything that happens is fated to happen. Not that they have to follow the film faithfully but that’s one of the fundamental themes of the thing.

      Beyond fidelity issues it just seems like this would be lost among a bunch of other thrillers and apocalypse-themed shows. The movie works because of the style Terry Gilliam brings to it, without that you risk having it be just another series with people looking very stern as they run around a city talking about viruses and files and other MacGuffins.

      Comment by Evan Waters — Tuesday August 27, 2013 @ 6:03am PDT  
  • congrats to terry and travis. both great guys and super talented.

    Comment by olmstead — Monday August 26, 2013 @ 9:38am PDT  
  • Yeah. GREAT, SyFy…

    Now please tell us what happened to your ‘BOOSTER GOLD’ series that you were working on with WBTV!

    One think I *HATE* with TV production slates (ESPECIALLY cable) is that these ambitious projects are thrown out there, and very rarely you here their development brought up again.

    Nellie, if you have any insight on that project, I would LOVE to know…

    Comment by IRON WILL — Monday August 26, 2013 @ 9:52am PDT  
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