Science fiction has a long history paralleling real life events with outlandish, usually action driven, stories. It’s effectively portrayed our society’s darkest fears on screen, from “Metropolis” to “The Matrix,” simultaneously unnerving audiences and calming them. Sometimes a fictional reality is the only way to cope with the unknown, and some of our best filmmakers recognize this time and time again.
Whether or not Syfy’s new drama “12 Monkeys” will join these ranks is a question for another day — a day when we’ve seen at least a few episodes — but the new trailer released today certainly brings to mind some troubling elements of our everyday lives. While it doesn’t use the word “ebola” or even specifically mention the deadly virus that wipes out humanity, anyone familiar with Terry Gilliam’s 1995 thriller will certainly see it in a new light when remembering it today.
Aaron Stanford (filling in for Bruce Willis) and Amanda Schull (replacing Madeline Stowe) lead the new 13-episode series for Syfy. Stanford plays Cole, a prisoner asked to go back in time and help discover how a deadly virus first broke out, killing off most of the world’s population. Syfy hired showrunner Natalie Chaidez to helm the project as well as Michael Wray (“Hannibal”) and Jeffrey Reiner (“American Hustle”) to serve as two executive producers.
Among the alterations from the original film, one that stands out is the casting of Emily Hampshire as Jennifer Goines, a mental patient who becomes a suspect of our hero, Cole. Film fans will remember Brad Pitt played the same character under the name Jeffrey in Gilliam’s movie, earning an Oscar nomination for his memorable turn.
Check out the trailer below and decide if you’ll be welcoming “12 Monkeys” into your home — or hiding behind a hazmat suit.