Syfy has ordered 12 episodes of a 12 Monkeys TV show, but it won’t just be the Terry Gilliam film stretched out over that many hours, reports Film Divider.
The site has reported on some of the pretty major changes that will mark Syfy’s new series as distinctly different. First of all, our time-traveling hero (played by Bruce Willis in the film and here by Aaron Stanford), is just an investigator, and doesn’t seem to have any personal baggage attached to returning to the past:
Our time travelling hero… doesn’t remember witnessing the death of a man, and any flashes or memories that he’s shown experiencing are simply of scenes from his undefined ‘home time’ in the future.
Cole’s responsibilities also seems to be bigger on the small screen. Instead of just being asked to get a sample of the original virus so maybe future scientists can create a cure, on the TV show he’s tasked with completely changing the future altogether:
He isn’t here to investigate, he’s here to change the future. And in a nice little twist, that echoes and will perhaps the film’s dreams of death, it’s established that if Cole does change the future and save the world, he’ll cease to exist.
Not only that, but he himself, with all his moving back and forth over time, may end up being part of the virus being created and spread in the first place:
…may be instrumental in creating the virus, with some help from a bacteria that he discovers in Cole’s blood. In this version, we’re being led to believe, Cole could actually be responsible for the outbreak by the virus of going back to try and stop it.
And where the first pilot episode leaves things is decidedly different from how the film unfolds as well, pretty much guaranteeing it will be doing its own thing for the subsequent 11 episodes. Do not read on if you don’t want to be spoiled for the ending of the show’s first episode:
In the final scenes of the pilot, Cole returns to his own dystopian future and finds it changed from when he was last there. A new villain, referred to as ‘The Gray-Eyed Man,’ tells Cole that he’s from “The Army of the 12 Monkeys. We’re the future…and we won’t be erased.”