The “Nikita” star plays Cole, the show’s tightly-wound, time-jumping protagonist. The same character was portrayed by Bruce Willis in Terry Gilliam‘s 1995 movie “Twelve Monkeys,” from which this show has been loosely adapted.
But aside from identical names and missions, the two Coles aren’t much alike. Syfy’s version is considerably more high strung, for starters. When Cole meets Dr. Railly (played by “Suits” star Amanda Schull) and tries to explain the severity his mission, his bedside manner is lacking.
“He’s already dead. Everybody is already dead. You are already dead,” he shouts at her.
“Why did you come for me?” she asks. But perhaps she should’ve asked when.
See, scientists from a post-apocalyptic future have sent Cole back to our present so he can investigate a terrorist organization — the Army of the 12 Monkeys — believed to be responsible for a deadly and mysterious plague that will soon kill everyone on earth.
“We know that it’s because of a man named Leland Frost,” Cole explains. “We find them and I kill him — that’s it.”
But Leland (Zeljko Ivanek) might be a few steps ahead. “I remember meeting you in 1987,” he tells Cole. “You looked exactly the same.”
Emily Hampshire (“My Awkward Sexual Adventure”) stars as Jennifer Goines, a variation of Brad Pitt‘s memorable character from the film. Kirk Acevedo (“Fringe”), Noah Bean (“Nikita”), Tom Noon (“Hell on Wheels”) and Barbara Sukowa (“Johnny Mnemonic”) also co-star.
Watch the new trailer above.
“12 Monkeys” premieres Jan. 16 at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.