Neil Patrick Harris is in talks to star in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Series.
The series, based on the best-selling Lemony Snicket books, was picked up by Netflix at the end of 2014 with an order for a 13-episode first season. It follows three orphaned children – Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire – who find themselves at the hands of the villainous Count Olaf, as they face trials and tribulations, misfortunes, and an evil uncle in search of their fortune.
The books have sold more than 65 million copies and have been translated into 43 languages, with the new show executive produced by Barry Sonnenfeld, who will also direct a number of episodes, alongside Daniel Handler, the author of the novels. The series is being produced by Take 5 Productions, Inc. and will shoot in Vancouver starting early his year.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Harris is in negotiations for the role of Olaf, the part played by Jim Carrey in the 2004 film adaptation of the books. It would mark a return to the small screen for Harris, who has won fans (and an Emmy nomination) for his role of the charismatic Barney in How I Met Your Mother, which was recently added to Netflix UK, and appeared last year in Fox’s American Horror Story: Freak Show (pictured above).
The news follows an open casting call by Netflix for anyone to audition for the parts of the children, with the deadline for applications closing yesterday.
While Harris joining the production would be a fortunate turn of events indeed, though, something more unfortunate is also brewing: showrunner Mark Hudis (True Blood) is departing the project, reports THR, although his reasons for exiting have not been revealed. Hudis’ replacement is yet to be announced, with Netflix reportedly declining to comment.