Neil Gaiman will bring new myths and fairy tales to life.
Jim Henson’s The Storyteller is getting a reimagining, Deadline has confirmed and Neil Gaiman will be involved. The novelist and screenwriter, who is currently engaged in TV adaptation of his own novels – Good Omens and season two of American Gods – will write for the show, though he quickly confirmed on Twitter that he wouldn’t be acting as showrunner for the revival.
The Storyteller originally aired in 1988 and used Henson’s puppetry with John Hurt’s wonderful performance as the titular storyteller to bring to life ancient and forgotten folktales to life. It was followed by The Storyteller: Greek Myths, with Michael Gambon replacing Hurt.
Here’s what Gaiman had to say about the reimagining of The Storyteller:
“It will be updated to work “for the binging kind” of viewer of today. Part of what fascinates me about The Storyteller is the stuff that we don’t know.”
“Who was the Storyteller, why was he telling these stories, was he a goblin, what kind of creature? What I’d love to do is an inside story that’s as long as the outside story. We’re going to find out a lot about who the storyteller is, we’re going to find out things we don’t even know that we don’t know. We’re going to begin in a Northern kingdom where stories are forbidden and where the act of telling a story is liable and can get you imprisoned or executed. If you put a storyteller into that situation, things would need to start getting interactive.
“The original Storyteller was a brilliantly written, directed and told set of stories. It’s a terrifying and inspiring task to reinvent what Jim Henson did for the golden age of television we are in right now, and I’m honored that The Jim Henson Company would entrust me with the task of bringing back the storyteller and his magical stories, and sending him out into the world for a whole new round of tales.”
Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company and daughter of Jim Henson added:
“The Storyteller has always been a special project for me, having worked so closely with my dad on the original concept. Neil Gaiman is an expert in traditional folklore and mythology, in addition to himself being the modern ‘storyteller’ for our times. I feel like if Neil were an actor, he’d have to play (the Storyteller) because he embodies what the storyteller is, a skillful wordsmith who can entertain people with the power of the story itself, and not to mention he also memorizes it all in his head.
Gaiman and Henson have also talked about what stories might feature. Gaiman teased…
“We have our eye on lots of them and one of the things that was brilliant (about The Storyteller) was, they would take little known versions of well-known fairytales because every story comes in various different versions, and I think that’s definitely something that I would love to keep going.”
“It gives the story the feeling of familiarity, but it’s also very different
The Jim Henson Company and Gaiman have teamed up with Fremantle to develop the show.
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