There was a very wonderful time in my childhood that was entirely revolved around A Series Of Unfortunate Events. Even when I try and recall it, it all seems hazed and spectacular like one big drug trip (I swear I’m not being dramatic.) Reading this collection of books changed everything for me. A Series Of Unfortunate Events was the best thing in my life at the time. It opened my eyes to mystery, adventure, the world at it’s cruelest, and the world at it’s most profound. The elusiveness of Lemony Snicket, the rumours and outright shock that it wasn’t his real name snaked around primary school like wildfire, between the special few, who knew of this world. I wanted to be Violett, I longed to be her. She was clever, smart, brave, in grave danger and able to navigate her and her siblings to safety with her hair tied back in a single ribbon. Do you know how many times I tried to tie my hair back with a single ribbon? Then, something terrible happened. Brad Silberling (Director of SOUE film 2004) happened and stamped and crushed down on my wonderful made-up imagery that I had created for this world in my mind. Everything was wrong, the tone, the location, the casting. Even big names like Meryl Streep, Jim Carey and Jude Law couldn’t save it. Now all these people knew about my favourite thing, and they all knew it wrongly. It was devastating. (ok maybe I was a bit dramatic at 12.)
Now, 12 years later, we are to live through the same stress all over. What will they do with the script? Will they take a completely different direction to the 2004 film, or make the same grave mistakes? This time, SOUE will be released in episodes on Netflix. According to IMDB there are five episodes penned out for the first season containing stories from both The Bad Beginning and The Reptile Room. Each of the 13 books will have two episodes so we can expect fast moving plot development.
The show has some big directors on board such as Barry Sonnenfeld – best known for the Men In Black films and The Addams Family (1991) – as well as Mark Palansky who directed the likes of Penelope (2006) and Stories of Lost Souls (2005.) Some big action filled moments can be expected which will do well against the gothic history of both directors.
As for the casting of the three Baudelaire children, Netflix have opted for relatively unknown actors in Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes which as we know from Stranger Things (2016), is a very good choice. I suspect that the third child Sunny will be a product of CGI because no official casting has been announced for his character as of yet. With the extremely large budget that Netflix has surrounding the project, we can make assumptions that a hefty proportion will focus on the third Baudelaire child.
Neil Patrick Harris who has bagged the part of Count Olaf has openly said that the series will be “a much darker take on the material than has been seen before.” This promising statement can only lead us to believe that the show will be aimed at a slightly older demographic than the 2004 movie was which was tweaked with overt humour and childlike references which overall, dumbed down the story. Netflix are aiming for the show to be the first four-quadrant series which will be aimed at children, teenagers, the 20 and 30s, and the over 40s. This is a complicated thing to do, but Netflix seem pretty confident in it.
It’s rumoured for the show to air Early 2017.