"Star Trek" and "Sleepy Hollow" producer Roberto Orci says television is turning to fantasy in part because "sci-fi has slightly hit a stumbling block."
Fox's upcoming Icahbod Crane update follows a trend that also includes HBO's "Game of Thrones" and ABC's "Once Upon a Time."
"Part of it I think you can see sci-fi has slightly hit a stumbling block in some of the summer stuff that we saw. I think maybe it's typical a little bit that you jump between [being] totally logical and something a little bit more whimsical," said Orci, one of four co-creators of the show along with "Star Trek" partner Alex Kurtzman, Len Wiseman and Phillip Iscove.
Orci and Kurtzman's "Star Trek Into Darkness" was a hit this summer, but Will Smith's "After Earth" didn't fare as well.
"Sleepy Hollow" blends the story of Icabod Crane and the Headless Horseman with the tale of Rip Van Winkle. And there's a bit of The Bible thrown in. The series offers an alternative history of the United States in which the horseman is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
"We pull back the veil on everything you think you know about the way our country was founded," said Goffman. "They started a revolution over a 4 percent tax rate, and what do we have today?"
The Disney image of Crane as a shaky coward is gone. The new Crane, played by Tom Mison, is a dashing and determined sort on a secret assignment from George Washington to save the world from evil. He awakens in 2013 to find that only one person — Det. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) — understands him.
"He thinks he's the only sane person in the room. Everyone around him is a maniac," Mison said.