My Early Thoughts On “12 Monkeys: The Series”

November 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Back when I started reviewing movies that isn’t distributed by The Asylum, I had the chance to review what I still think is the best movie that Terry Gilliam has ever directed – 12 Monkeys. Yeah, I would say it’s Brazil or Time Bandits instead but nah, it’s still this movie. And when I heard that the movie is translated to television series, I think it might be as good as Hannibal and Fargo but judging by the fact that it’s a show that’s done by SyFy, I then think it’s gonna end up like Zombieland instead (and yes, that one existed but it only have a pilot that didn’t work out). Hmm, maybe I’m wrong so let’s see the trailer for this and see if it makes me interested in this big time.

Hmm, I might watch this but I know I’m not gonna like this anyway so maybe I should give further thoughts than just a trailer. First off, let me give a cast on this. Now what do I say about Aaron Stanford filling in Bruce’s shoes as James Coles? Well, I liked Aaron but he is so miscast as James in my opinion. Really, he is no Bruce Willis and I don’t see it. He might be Brad Pitt instead but the thing about it is Jeffrey Goines is already cast and this time by Emily Hampshire. Yes, Jeffrey is now a woman known as Jennifer. She might be good but really, I don’t know much of Emily’s previous roles. I may had seen her in shows like Mutant X or Are You Afraid of the Dark? years ago but as whom is another question since she only appears in an episode or two so do forgive me if I don’t know much about her.

James Cole

And speaking of characters with name changes, Kathryn Railly is now Cassandra Railly. I don’t know why the changes happened but anyway, she is played by Amanda Schull who’s best known for being the lead star of Center Stage and well, nothing I can think of besides that movie. She has been on few movies and guest starred on bunch of television shows but that’s it so sorry if I don’t follow much on her work besides that movie. And the show has its own Jose now changed to Ramses and okay, he’s played by Kirk Acevedo of Fringe and Oz fame.

And lastly in the main cast, we have Tom Noonan who’s basically “that guy from” kind of actor since I’ve seen him in pretty much anything from Manhunter to one episode of a Law and Order spinoff. Heck, I know him best as The Ripper from Last Action Hero. And get this, the character he plays is the leader of Army of the Twelve Monkeys known as… Slender Man!

Pallid Man
Okay, I’m now gonna think of Tom Noonan as Slender Man from this point on so thanks for that. Finally, there’s Željko Ivanek who plays Leland Frost and I’ve seen him in Oz and Seven Psychopaths so he’s a good actor and I have no arguments there. Now I could also go on with Noah Bean but like Emily, I’ve seen in few stuff and might had forgotten he’s in it so moving on. Right now, we get to the people behind the show. First off, let’s meet up the creators of the show – Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett. Now you have to ask, what’s so special about these two that helps make this show happen? Well, here’s the screenshot of what show they are responsible for few years ago.

Terra Nova
Yes, if I want a show about the confusion on time travel, I go with the ones who did that kind of confusion only in a stupidest way possible. And really, they are also two of the executive producers of this show and not the only ones since we have three more executive producers to boot. Let me say it this way, Star Trek has one executive producer, Twin Peaks has two executive producers and even Homeboys In Outer Space has one executive producer. How sad is it that I’m now comparing 12 Monkeys with one of the worst shows in television history? And oh, do guess which one I’m talking about?

Two And A Half Men
The other executive producer is Richard Suckle who gave us American Hustle but remember that he also gave us crap like Yours, Mine and Ours, Scooby-Doo and Extreme Movie. There’s also Natalie Chaidez without her, we wouldn’t have Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the 2010 reboot of V and the first season of Heroes. Honestly, two out of three stuff on her resume ain’t bad. And then we have Jeffrey Reiner who is responsible for long-running shows like The Event, Awake and Surface.


Okay, next up is the producers of the show and there’s only two so that one I can deal with. One of them is Michael Wray who is recently involved with Hannibal. Uh, I mentioned the show earlier in the article so we might got another good sign here. The other producer is Patty Long and according to IMDB, her previous credit in executive producing is The Starving Games.

Starving Games
Yeah, let’s just move on. I talked about the cast and the people behind the work so what else is there to talk about? Oh yeah, Terry Gilliam and this one is interesting since for a show based on his movie, nobody in SyFy has really gone up to him and ask about that. No really, nobody asked him about this upcoming show. And what do he have to say about this?

“No, I know nothing about that except what I read in the papers, I have no control, I get no money. I think it’s a really bad idea frankly, particularly because I thought we did a very good film. I thought the script was wonderful, Chris Marker was very happy with “Twelve Monkeys” since it was inspired by “La Jetee,” and I think the series will have nothing to do with that.” [Source]

Ouch, now that’s the thing there. Bunch of directors like The Coen Brothers and Sam Raimi have become involved in their work becoming television properties but Terry Gilliam? Hey SyFy, you’re kinda dissing the guy who once do animations for a well-known British television show. Now I know the movie is loosely based on La Jetée since he brought it up but really, it’s called 12 Monkeys and not La Jetée or in English, The Jetty so… Hmm, I wonder what happen if the show is called The Jetty instead. That would be hilarious.

The Jetty
But back to it, they are making the show based on the movie with that exact title without the movie director’s permission and that’s kind of bad movie there. This is just another case of what happens when Hollywood takes on something Terry is involved in and mess with it. Remember when Brazil got butchered with a happy ending or how about the studio interference in The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen? SyFy just went to the same exact route as NBC did for Ferris Bueller back in 1990. Yeah, not asking John Hughes about making a television show based on one of his movies is a awesome idea… if it hasn’t got cancelled after thirteen episodes and the fact that it got negative receptions back and forth that is.

Ferris Bueller
But upon all that, there’s one other thing I should say about SyFy. Recently, the network admitted to being fucked up and decide to go back to basics. Okay, I can believe it with 12 Monkeys being one of its properties that might revitalize the network for the better. After all, It’s a Science Fiction show and not some Ghost Hunters wannabe crap or whatever. The thing about it is after what I said and pointed out, they might predestined themselves to going to the same point as before and the show could itself be a disaster. I may as well be wrong on this since really, there’s also 3001: A Space Odyssey and a reboot of Blake’s 7 coming but at this point, I am not simply feeling it. I am gonna watch it and when the show ends, I will give my final take on the show’s first (and maybe only) season to see if I prove my point or not. And this is really just my early thoughts on one idea that’s coming, not my final, definitive thoughts. Ever since I did the Equals article months ago, there has been an updated plot synopsis, a set photo and the fact that it’s not the only 1984 adaptation to hit cinemas in the future and I am gonna still see the movie despite the stupidity of the plot (emotions not existing? So no Two Minute Hate?) so I don’t back down on this. So yeah, I gonna watch it and it’s a better alternative than this following movie-to-television idea.

Monster In Law


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