Further details of Syfy’s planned TV series expansion of 12 Monkeys have been released, with several key members of cast and crew announced.
Aaron Stanford (Nikita; X2; X-Men: The Last Stand) has been cast in the lead as time travelling criminal Cole, the character originated by Bruce Willis in the film. Amanda Schull, playing the female lead of Cassandra Railly, is principally known for her stints on One Tree Hill and Pretty Little Liars, but has also guest starred on the likes of Nikita, Grimm and Castle. Whether she is meant to be a relative of the film’s Kathryn Railly (played by Madeline Stowe), or a reworking of the same character is yet to be clarified. Details of any potential counterpart to Brad Pitt’s endearing (and Oscar-nominated) nutter Jeffrey Goines have yet to be released.
The pilot has been written by Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett (both previously staff writers and story editors on Nikita and Terra Nova) and will keep the principal concept of the film, that of a time traveller being sent back from a post-apocalyptic future to discover the source of a plague that ravaged humanity. However, given its ultimate revelation and ending – as well as the self-fulfilling and often cyclical nature of time travel – the length of time the series can follow its events is limited at best.
The film’s director Terry Gilliam has previously voiced his displeasure at the news, calling it “a very dumb idea,” and that without the original film’s writers “it would just be another version of Time Bandits.” However you wish to take that, the director’s perfectionism and dissatisfaction with his own work, let alone anybody else’s, mean that outright dismissal of the series shouldn’t be taken for granted.
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