We’ve known for quite sometime that Netflix planned an adaptation of the incredibly popular Lemony Snicket books, A Series of Unfortunate Events, but details on the project have been minimal besides casting news and fan-made trailers to build excitement. However, Netflix have finally broken silence on the project by unveiling a new teaser for the project, and along with it a premiere date for the show.
Netflix’s original series won’t be the first time that the children’s novels have received a screen adaptation, with Jim Carrey starring as the villainous Count Olaf in the 2004 film Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. The film was a reasonable success, with generally positive reviews from critics, and over $200 million at the box office. However, given the films $140m budget, the reason a sequel was never produced is likely because of financial reasons. Discussions for a sequel continued to as late as 2009, when the sequel was considered as a stop-motion feature due to the child actors growing out of their roles. In late 2014, the franchise was finally announced to be in Netflix’s hands as they planned to adapt all the books into a series.
The teaser for Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events features Patrick Warburton (Rules of Engagement, The Emperor’s New Groove) playing Lemony Snicket, the fictional pen name of the true author of the books, Daniel Handler) as he walks through the set of the show addressing the audience and begging them to avoid watching the show to avoid the “cruel whimsy and whimsical cruelty of what is to come”. While the teaser does not show any of the other characters or any footage from the show, Count Olaf can be heard from off-screen, now portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother). Finally, the teaser ends by highlighting the show’s premiere date: 13th January 2017, slightly outside of the 2016 window originally assumed for the show. The teaser may seem simple and bare-bones, but I personally think it successfully hints towards both the tone and aesthetics of the show, as well as potentially being littered with easter eggs for fans to find, such as a clapper board for a project named The Littlest Elf, directed by Monty Kensicle, which appeared in both the books as a light-hearted book written by the fictional Kensicle that Snicket himself recommended to readers to avoid the dire content of his own book, and before the opening of the 2004 film in which Jude Law playing Snicket recommended the film version of Littlest Elf instead.
A Series of Unfortunate Events stars Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket and Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, who will be joined by Malina Weissman (Young Kara from Supergirl) as Violet Baudelaire and newcomer Louis Hynes as her brother, Klaus. Aasif Mandvi, K. Todd Freeman and Joan Cusack also star. The first season will consist of 8 episodes, with each book being adapted into two episodes of the series, leaving the first season adapting the first four books in the series. For the record, the 2004 film adaptation adapted the first three. The show is created by Mark Hudis (That 70’s Show, True Blood), and will be executive produced by the author of the books, Daniel Handler and Barry Sonnenfeld, who also executive produced the 2004 adaptation.
A Series of Unfortunate Events will hit Netflix on 13th January 2017.