Netflix adapts Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events into TV series
James R | On 07, Nov 2014
Netflix is adapting Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events into a TV series.
The 13-part series of novels, first published in 1999, has sold more than 65 million copies around the world and been translated into 43 languages. In 2004, the books were adapted into a movie starring Jim Carrey, which made a not inconsiderate $200 million. It is no surprise, then, that Netflix has nabbed the rights to the franchise.
The streaming service is making big headlines with its day and date IMAX release of a Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sequel, not to mention its soon-to-launch Marvel miniseries based on Daredeveil, but its big battle is occurring in the living room, where it’s locked in a race to win over child viewers. While original series Marco Polo is on the way in December and documentary Virunga lands today, most of its recent original programming announcements have involved titles aimed at kids, including a new King Kong animated series, a reboot of The Magic School Bus and, for US subscribers, a new live-action Richie Rich series.
The latter is being made by AwesomenessTV, who are now owned by DreamWork, which is responsbile for the majority of Netflix’s original animated content – including Turbo FAST and an upcoming How to Train Your Dragon spin-off.
Lemony Snicket, produced by Paramount (the studio behind the film), marks a rare addition to Netflix’s live-action family line-up, as well as a move towards older children.
“On the search for fantastic material that appeals to both parents and kids, the first stop for generations of readers is A Series of Unfortunate Events,” Netflix’s Cindy Holland said in a statement. “The world created by Lemony Snicket is unique, darkly funny, and relatable. We can’t wait to bring it to life for Netflix members.”
The books follow three siblings, Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire, who are taken in by the nefarious Count Olaf when their parents pass away. Trying to learn the truth behind their parents’ death, their adventures are narrated by Lemony Snicket.
“I can’t believe it,” Snicket himself said, from an undisclosed location. “After years of providing top-quality entertainment on demand, Netflix is risking its reputation and its success by associating itself with my dismaying and upsetting books.”
“Mr. Snicket’s participation will be limited, given his emotional distress,” added Netflix, “but the project has the full involvement of his legal, literary and social representative Daniel Handler, who is often mistaken for him.”
The search is now underway for a director.