Feb 1, 2010

SyFy is ruining my childhood.

SyFy (she wrote with a grimace) loves their original movies. Who can forget such classics as Mansquito and Boa vs Python? Of course, every once in a while they hit the jackpot. The Wizard of Oz inspired 2007 mini-series Tin Man had critics and fans excited. So much so they went ahead with the similar, yet vastly inferior Alice in Wonderland themed Alice. Now, god help us, SyFy has some very interesting plans for our favorite fairy tale characters.

"Red" by Kneil Melicano on Threadless

The network is planning a five-title movie series that gives a modern twist to classic fairy tales. Beauty and the Beast, Hansel & Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood are the first of these Saturday features to be announced. "The series is partly inspired by the network's mandate to find projects with broader appeal that began in earnest last year with the network's rebranding from Sci Fi to Syfy," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Have they considered branching out into smaller comic properties instead of dragging our beloved fairy tales through the inevitable ringer? Perhaps similar to how AMC has acquired Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead? Just a thought SyFy.

"It's exciting to take a treasured brand and put our own sideways spin on it," said Thomas Vitale, Executive VP of programming and original movies at SyFy. "By turning familiar timeless stories inside out, we're creating an entertaining new genre for our popular Saturday night movie franchise." According to THR, Hansel & Gretel will take place years after escaping the witch and Hansel seeking revenge, while Little Red Riding Hood will follow a descendant of Red who discovers her family hunts werewolves.

Just an aside from the SyFy Twitter account (written by the SVP & GM of Digital, Craig Engler) last week: "Funny note from a meeting we had today about the Syfy Saturday movies. 'Why do people keep pitching us scripts about Killer Koalas?' " Ahem.

Beauty and the Beast will jump-start the movie series on Feb. 27. What an original idea SyFy! None one's ever put a contemporary twist on that before.

I love you Vincent!

15 comments:

mandyannemurray said...

I'm actually quite excited by this news; I enjoyed Tin Man and loved Alice. And I'm a huge fan of most of the SyFy Saturday movies, as horrible as they are. They're often just mindless and amusing. :)

I agree with you that they could have found newer, more original material to work with, but we are talking about the company that thought changing their name to SyFy was a good idea. ;)

TS Hendrik said...

No good can come of this. Next they'll start remaking Saturday morning cartoons into gritty interpretations.

Well actually that might not be such a bad thing. Biker mice from Mars done serious could be cool... Dexter's Lab would be too...

On second thought I think I'd prefer it if they continue with the trend. Provided it leads them to cartoons.

The Nerdy Bird said...

You really liked Alice Mandy? I don't know, it just seemed like they were trying to copy Tin Man far too much. And you know I LOVE Alice In Wonderland so it was quite disappointing to see. Have you read The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor? It's a very cool trilogy (the 3rd just came out) and there's graphic novel tie-ins as well.

I can see it TS. :)

Macabri said...

While Tin Man was watchable, it was far from great. I didn't even finish the first installment of Alice.

I think the problem is sometimes that SyFy (ugh, I hate that re-branding) tries too hard. Though I'm sure some people would see it as not trying enough.

What they should do is work on compelling, original retellings not "Tin Man worked, what else can we shoehorn into that format".

Nick said...

I guess it was too expensive for Syfy to get the rights to the excellent comic bok series FABLES and do a television adaptation of that, which would be incredible.

-- Nick
from City of Kik
http://nickleshi.blogspot.com

diana green said...

"Branching out into smaller comics" appears to be what they're doing anyway, trading on the success of Fables, which I didn't find all that original to start with (and I know I'm in the minority on that one).
Two concerns:
In light of what they have planned for The Phantom next month (this month?), let's hope they don't go to more of the lesser known characters.
Also, I feel quite sad for the kids who will see these versions of the fairy tales and regard them as canon.
Mandy right that this stuff is mindless. Amusing is a matter of perspective. If she enjoys them, more power to her, but I think SF Channel (fight the nomenclature!) was at its best with the two Dune adaptations. Smart AND fun, at least to me!
I would like to see someone seriously adapt Sturgeon. Hasn't been done since A Saucer of Loneliness in the new Twilight Zone of the late 80s.
Of course, then they might have to pay someone, and fairy tales are PD...

themonkeyjedi said...

Don't hate on Boa vs. Python. It's a classic! Besides, without SyFy where else will Dean Cain and Casper Van Dien get work? Dean gotta eat! Yes, I am being facetious.

AmyR said...

Wait, haven't they invented terrible titles for them? Like "The Hood in the Night?"

Make it stop!

mmtz said...

they're sort of jumping on the comics bandwagon - Grimm Fairy Tales from Zenescope Entertainment has released dozens of fairy tale comics, each with dozens of variant covers

dogimo said...

Assuming you get away free and clear of all that, why on earth would Hansel want to go back and get revenge? If anything, he should want revenge on his stinkin' Mom and Pops!

Anyway, didn't they BURN the witch in the stove?!

The Nerdy Bird said...

No, I agree with you Macabri, they do try too hard sometimes.

Actually Nick, while the money issue is probably true, ABC already has a Fables pilot in the works. http://www.thenerdybird.com/2008/12/abc-tells-fables.html

@themonkeyjedi, facetious? Yes. Truth? Yes.

@Amy, well they didn't specify but that doesn't mean they won't! Beware Hans & Gret.

And yes Dogimo, they DID kill the witch at the end of the story. I suppose they'll just say she didn't actually die or something.

Come on people! No love for my B&B picture?? :P

Nick Ahlhelm said...

I like how you suggest that they go in search of smaller comic properties when it looks like they are using the public domain to pretty much rip off everything Zenescope is doing with Grimm Fairy Tales.

Nick said...

Easier to go after public domain and screw up the classics. Although I did like Tinman a lot. Alice had its good moments but wasn't as good.

I'm glad ABC is developing Fables. I'll need something to satisfy me once LOST is off the air after this season. :)

-- Nick
from City of Kik

http://nickleshi.blogspot.com

Macabri said...

@TheNerdyBird

Well I <3 your B&B picture. Mmm...

Anonymous said...

While Alice was pretty cool, their 'vs' series of crappy 70's lookalike premiers suck! Seriously! How do they keep making these!!???! O.O