Terry Gilliam’s dark, 1996 sci-fi film 12 Monkeys earned all sorts of accolades when it premiered — including a pair of Oscar nominations — so it makes a weird sort of sense that it’s being remade into a full-on television series by the Syfy network. The project debuted its first trailer this week, offering a glimpse at the time-travel story at the heart of the series.
The series casts X2: X-Men United actor Aaron Stanford in the role of James Cole (as played by Bruce Willis in the 1996 film), a man sent back in time to prevent a deadly plague from destroying humanity. In order to prevent the apocalyptic future from unfolding, he must locate the man responsible for the plague while contending with a host of people from the past who think he’s dangerously crazy.
It’s worth noting that the 1996 film was itself based on Chris Marker’s 1962 short film La Jetée, which follows a prisoner sent into the past to prevent the nuclear war that rendered the world inhospitable. This version of the story seems to put a bit more focus on the paradoxical implications of time travel than Gilliam’s film, but we can’t help but wonder how long the story can be stretched out for a full series.
Stanford is joined in the cast of Syfy’s 12 Monkeys by Amanda Schull (Pretty Little Liars) and Kirk Acevedo (Fringe). The 90-minute pilot episode was directed by Jeffrey Reiner, who directed several episodes of Friday Night Lights, as well as the pilot episode of the Battlestar Galactica spinoff series Caprica.
The series is set to premiere in January 2015, and like most Syfy programming, there’s a good chance it will be available on the network’s streaming video app — so keep an eye out for it if your interest is piqued by the trailer.