Syfy has set a date for the future with the premiere of its “12 Monkeys” series adaptation scheduled for Friday, Jan. 16, 2015 at 9 p.m. ET … but there’s still no sign of Brad Pitt.
A very loose adaptation of the 1995 film directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, “12 Monkeys” will still be about a man traveling into the past to try and stop a deadly plague that has decimated the future, but the particulars may vary dramatically.
Aaron Stanford (“Nikita”) stands in for Willis as James Cole, the time traveler from 2043 who travels back 30 years to try and save humanity. Pitt’s role is flipping genders with Emily Hampshire (“Rookie Blue”), who is perhaps-not-so-ironically the real life wife of “Doctor Who” star Matt Smith, stepping in. So Jeffrey becomes Jennifer Goines, the mental patient who winds up helping Cole in his mission.
The cast is rounded out by Željko Ivanek, Amanda Schull as Dr. Cassandra Railly (the equivalent to Madeline Stowe’s Dr. Kathryn Railly), Kirk Acevedo, Noah Bean, Tom Noon and Barbara Sukowa.
Like “Battlestar Galactica,” this new take on “12 Monkeys” is an almost complete re-imagining of the original film. “We didn’t want to just re-do what the movie does,” co-executive producer Terry Matalas told reporters at TCA in July. “Everything from the top-down changed. While the story has a lot of the same themes, it wouldn’t make sense to tell the same story again.”
In an extended trailer released by the network, the main beats of the story are familiar, but the struggles Cole and Railly face look to be even more complex. The stakes are as high as the film, with the future of humanity on the line, while there are hints to additional time travelling to other eras like the 1980s, as well.
Most importantly, the quality here looks much more on par with the best Syfy has to offer, as opposed to the likes of “Sharknado” and “Z Nation.”
“12 Monkeys” premieres Friday, Jan. 16 at 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.
Correction: a previous version stated that this show will premiere on Jan. 5, 2015. The original “12 Monkeys” film premiered Jan. 5, 1996. The Syfy series premieres Jan. 16, 2015. TheWrap regrets the error.