Although the team up of director Bryan Singer and writer Bryan Fuller managed to bring The Munsters back to life in this year’s Halloween special Mockingbird Lane, the potential series didn’t spark with the network. Starring Jerry O’Connell, Portia de Rossi, Eddie Izzard, Charity Wakefield and Mason Cook, the show featured the exploits of an abnormal family and their attempts to fit in (or not) to everyday society. Mockingbird Lane was done with Fuller’s usual flair, as Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls fans can attest to, but like those projects, this one is also dead. Hit the jump to read what Fuller said about Mockingbird Lane, along with the first few minutes of the TV special.
By now you may have heard that NBC has a grave outlook for Bryan Fuller’s Munsters re-imagined series, Mockingbird Lane. Luckily, fans of the Pushing Daisies creator (and the morbidly curious) will get to see the series pilot repurposed as a holiday special later this month. You’ll get to see Jerry O’Connell as Herman Munster, Portia de Rossi as Lily Munster, and Eddie Izzard as the vampire Grandpa (or “D” as they’re calling him), along with Mason Cook as Eddie Munster and Charity Wakefield as Marilyn in the Bryan Singer-directed pilot/Halloween special on October 26th. But you can check out new images of the cast now after the jump.
[Update: The first trailer for the pilot has been released and is now included after the jump.]
I have been looking forward to NBC’s Munsters remake Mockingbird Lane, mostly as an opportunity for Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller to play with some dark tragicomedy. (Fuller’s take on the lead: “When you come to The Munsters and have Herman—who’s essentially a zombie in a constant state of decay—and he’s married to a woman who doesn’t age, there’s something very poignant there.”) Alas, it is probably not to be. Deadline hears that NBC is leaning toward passing on the Mockingbird Lane pilot with the caveat that no final decision has been made yet. Rather than cling to that small glimmer of hope, I will shift my Fuller love to the Hannibal Lecter prequel series Hannibal, which already has a 13-episode order for midseason on NBC.
Mockingbird Lane has been kicking around NBC since the 2010-11 development season. Bryan Singer directed the pilot, led by Jerry O’Connell, Portia de Rossi, and Eddie Izzard. Deadline suggests the hourlong pilot was “lauded for its visual style,” but never quite came together. I hope we get to see a bit of footage somewhere down the line. [Update: Fuller has taken to Twitter to assuage some fears, saying "NBC just informed me that the Deadline article regarding #MockingbirdLane was Dead Wrong. Stay tuned for updates!" So, it's still alive! For now.]
Last we checked on the Munsters reboot Mockingbird Lane, NBC had cast Jerry O’Connell as the Frankenstein-like Herman Munster, Eddie Izzard as the vampire Grandpa, Mason Cook as Herman’s werewolf son, and Charity Wakefield as “plain” cousin Marilyn. The only remaining piece was Lily Munster, Herman’s vampire wife. Mariana Klaveno was in talks for the role, but had to pull out due to her commitment as a regular as the hopeful series Devious Maids. I don’t know much about Klaveno, but according to The Live Feed, NBC found a very capable replacement in Portia de Rossi. De Rossi held her own (but sometimes got lost in the shuffle) on Arrested Development, and became the secret weapon on the brilliant (but sadly low-rated) Better Off Ted. If everything comes together for the remake from Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller as I hope it will, this could be a great showcase for de Rossi. Hit the jump for more on Fuller’s vision for the show.
There is one—and really only one—reason I am interested in NBC’s Munsters reboot, Mockingbird Lane: Bryan Fuller. Fuller is 3-for-3 in creating top-notch television series after Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, and his magnum opus, Pushing Daisies. If Fuller chooses to set his sights on the Munsters or Hannibal Lecter, I will follow him there. While Hannibal is on track for a midseason debut, Mockingbird Lane has proven much trickier. The pilot was originally supposed to shoot in the spring, but casting difficulties pushed it back to the summer months. Then Eddie Izzard was previously cast as the vampire Grandpa, Mason Cook was chosen to play Herman and Lily Munster’s werewolf son Eddie, and Charity Wakefield came on board as Lily’s niece Marilyn. Now Jerry O’Connell has signed on to star as Herman. Details after the jump.
In a special, one-night-only movie event, taking place on May 5th, Syfy is airing the four-hour re-imagining of the classic tale, Treasure Island, featuring an all-star cast led by Eddie Izzard (as Long John Silver), Elijah Wood (as Ben Gunn) and Donald Sutherland (as Flint). In this version, directed by Steve Barron and written by Stewart Harcourt, Robert Louis Stevenson’s swashbuckling adventure story about fantastical treasure, youthful courage and murderous greed has a fresh, new feel. The film also stars Toby Regbo, Rupert Penry-Jones, Shirley Henderson and Nina Sosanya.
During this recent interview to promote the film’s premiere, actor Eddie Izzard talked about how he got involved with this project, his inspiration for Long John Silver and how he made the role his own, finding the unique look for the character, the high and low moments during shooting, working with a real parrot, and that they’re already talking about doing another film. He also talked about being a big fan of science fiction and the imagination, his desire to continue doing dramatic work, and being offered a role in the Munsters reboot, Mockingbird Lane, from creator Bryan Fuller and with a pilot directed by Bryan Singer. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
Though Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) is still very much working on getting Mockingbird Lane, the series reboot of The Munsters, off the ground for next season, the production of the pilot was pushed from spring to summer to allow production partners to focus on improving the show’s creative aspects. The delay might pay off as EW has learned that stellar British comedian and The Riches star Eddie Izzard is being lined up to take on the role of the old vampire and shape-shifting grandfather in the pilot from director Bryan Singer.
In addition, Izzard will also have a producers credit on the show, and having his comedic sensibilities on the program can only help. Izzard has been long overdue for some primetime exposure after a great turn on the sadly cancelled FX series The Riches, not to mention some great supporting turns in films like Ocean’s 12 and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. For a taste of his comedic stylings hit the jump for a great bit about James Bond’s gadgets.