Though the show won't be hitting the airwaves until next year, it appears that NBC is very happy with what they're seeing from Bryan Fuller's upcoming reboot of "The Munsters," Mockingbird Lane, and have already ordered additional scripts with a series order still pending. Fuller, a lifelong fan of the original show, sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about his role as showrunner and the tone he's aiming for with his ambitious approach.
"The Munsters actually do what monsters do," he says of the show's darker approach. "They eat people and they have to live with the ramifications of being monstrous. It's like grounding it in a reality because the half-hour was a sitcom, we saw the monsters: they were monsters on the outside and weren't monsters on the inside. For us, they're monsters outside and inside, and we get to double our story."
He also promises that each hourlong episode will explore some weighter issues than the original half-hour sitcom did.
"Everything is a metaphor for something that you can identify with in a relationship," he continues, "The fact that Herman is in a constant state of decay and he's married to someone who doesn't age. We get to play with all those insecurities. The fact that he was made by his father-in-law and then has to live up to those standards; he's always trying to find his own identity."
The most exciting news of all, however, is that the show is planned to be jam-packed with cinematic monsters from the Universal Pictures catalogue. He specifically references appearances by The Creature From the Black Lagoon and The Phantom of the Opera.
"'Once Upon a Time' has fairy tales," he says, "We have universal monsters, which for me are the fairy tales of my youth. That's where I grew up, loving The Munsters, The Wolfman, Frankenstein, Dracula, the Metaluna monster from 'Silent Earth' and the Mole People. I would love to rope in all of those characters from those stories, as well as get the Cat People and get those types of things."
Already set to star Jerry O'Connell, Eddie Izzard and Portia de Rossi, the Mockingbird Lane pilot is directed by Bryan Singer and is likely going to air as a midseason show sometime in 2013.
It's basically the new Dark Shadows in reverse. In that case they took a dark, gothic premise and turned it into a vulgar comedy and here they took a goofy, wholesome premise and tried to make it "edgy". The whole point of the Munsters is that they are in reality a nice, normal family. It goes completely against the spirit of the concept (don't judge a book by its cover) to turn them into carnivorous monsters. Inexcusable.
This month began with some rather sour news regarding NBC's reboot of The Munsters - called Mockingbird Lane. Deadline reported that the network was not happy with the pilot and was not going to take it to series. Showrunner Bryan Fuller responded, via Twitter, saying there was no truth to this. But now a new report - stemming from The Hollywood Reporter - reveals just what NBC might do with the pilot.
According to the outlet, the network might package it as a Halloween special or do some additional shooting and turn it into a made-for-TV movie that it can sell to international buyers. Ouch.
THR says the project was plagued by conflicting visions. Bryan Singer and Fuller apparently had "differing opinions about the visual style of the pilot."
In the show, Jerry O'Connell plays Herman Munster, Portia De Rossi is Lily, Eddie Izzard is Grandpa, Mason Cook plays Eddie and Charity Wakefield is Marilyn.
This week, in the midst of rumors concerning what NBC was going to do with Mockingbird Lane, the reboot of The Munsters, showrunner Bryan Fuller tweeted: "MockbingbirdLane Lives!" which gave us hope that some good news was coming.
Today, we received the official word:
As Halloween nears, NBC turns Friday, October 26 into Fright Night when it premieres the pilot of the much-anticipated Mockingbird Lane (8-9 p.m. ET) - based on executive producer Bryan Fuller’s script and directed by executive producer Bryan Singer.
The special program leads into a haunting “La Llorona” Halloween episode of Grimm (9-10 p.m. ET), which will also enjoy special airings on NBCUniversal’s Telemundo and mun2.
Mockingbird Lane is a new reimagined version of the classic 1960s comedy The Munsters, now as a visually spectacular one-hour drama with a darker edge and tone. The cast includes Jerry O’Connell as Herman Munster, Portia de Rossi as his wife Lily, Eddie Izzard as Grandpa, Mason Cook as Eddie and Charity Wakefield (“The Raven”) as Marilyn.
“This exciting new take on a memorable series will definitely blow out conventional wisdom and create its own legacy,” said Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment. “Teaming this new show with a terrifying episode of ‘Grimm’ makes the perfect pre-Halloween fright-fest.”
In the original 1964-66 series The Munsters, the odd but lovable family lived on 1313 Mockingbird Lane.
In Mockingbird Lane, sweet little Eddie Munster (Cook) is a normal kid about to enter the horrors of puberty. Truth is, he’s about to discover that for him becoming a teenager means growing hair in truly unexpected places -- as in all over his body -- every time the moon is full! Eddie’s got it pretty good though. His loving, supportive, run-of-the-mill family includes his mom Lily (de Rossi), the daughter of Dracula; his dad Herman (O’Connell), who brings new meaning to “Frankenstein”; and Grandpa (Izzard), who would give Dracula a run for his money if he weren’t actually Dracula! Of course then there’s creepy cousin Marilyn (Wakefield), who’s really the odd one because she’s so completely normal.
Buying a house these days is a nightmare, so Herman and Lily are shocked that no one scooped up the rambling Victorian mansion at 1313 Mockingbird Lane that was the site of a series of grisly hobo murders. Settling into their new place, they’re quickly onto the mission at hand: to gently ease Eddie into the reality of his werewolf adolescence. But it’s not always so easy to accept that your child is a little “different” from the rest of the kids. Meanwhile, Herman, who works as a funeral director, is suffering from a heart condition. Since he’s made up mostly of spare parts, he knew his makeshift heart would eventually give out. No worries though, because Grandpa, who is pretty good at procuring body parts, is on the case. All Herman cares about is finding a new heart with the same capacity to love Lily as much as he has for so many decades.
NBC has revealed the first promo for the one-hour Mockingbird Lane pilot, which will air on Friday, October 26 at 8 p.m. ET. You can watch it after the jump!
In Mockingbird Lane, sweet little Eddie Munster (Mason Cook) is a normal kid about to enter the horrors of puberty. Truth is, he's about to discover that for him becoming a teenager means growing hair in truly unexpected places -- as in all over his body -- every time the moon is full! Eddie's got it pretty good though. His loving, supportive, run-of-the-mill family includes his mom Lily (Portia de Rossi), the daughter of Dracula; his dad Herman (Jerry O'Connell), who brings new meaning to "Frankenstein"; and Grandpa (Eddie Izzard), who would give Dracula a run for his money if he weren't actually Dracula! Of course then there's creepy cousin Marilyn (Charity Wakefield), who's really the odd one because she's so completely normal.
Buying a house these days is a nightmare, so Herman and Lily are shocked that no one scooped up the rambling Victorian mansion at 1313 Mockingbird Lane that was the site of a series of grisly hobo murders. Settling into their new place, they're quickly onto the mission at hand: to gently ease Eddie into the reality of his werewolf adolescence. But it's not always so easy to accept that your child is a little "different" from the rest of the kids. Meanwhile, Herman, who works as a funeral director, is suffering from a heart condition. Since he's made up mostly of spare parts, he knew his makeshift heart would eventually give out. No worries though, because Grandpa, who is pretty good at procuring body parts, is on the case. All Herman cares about is finding a new heart with the same capacity to love Lily as much as he has for so many decades.
Mockingbird Lane is from Bad Hat Harry Productions and Universal Television. Executive producers include Bryan Fuller, Bryan Singer and Sara Colleton (“Dexter”). Singer also directed the pilot.
Who remembers the ol' family pet dragon, Spot on The Munsters? Furthermore, who out there can remember what the entire beast looked like? If you're having a hard time conjuring up an exact image, well, we understand ... because you never actually saw the full creature who resided under the staircase and tunnels of the Munsters' home on Mockingbird Lane. You would always get a glimpse of his tail or, if you're lucky, a shadow-enshrouded look at his face - mouth full of teeth and flames shooting out of his nostrils - but never an entire view of the creature.
All you knew was he was big.
Mockingbird Lane - NBC and showrunner Bryan Fuller's reboot of The Munsters - is going to get you up close and personal with Spot (in fact, you can get a sneak peek at him via this preview). And, today, ShockTillYouDrop.com scored an exclusive piece of Spot concept art by Jonathan Wayshak (visit his official site) who has done work on properties including The Walking Dead, Gears of War and Halo.
"I do remember thinking about what Spot looked like [while watching The Munsters], kind of a Triceratops style head with irregular scales and a short, squat body. A hobbit of a dragon I guess. Nothing like the final design," Wayshak tells us.
Wayshak previously collaborated with Fuller on an unreleased comic book based on Fuller's previous series Pushing Daisies. For Mockingbird Lane, "We went through a few designs," says Wayshak. "Bryan wanted something very classic yet sinister. Spot is still a shadowy character so keeping his silhouette strong was important, especially in the head."
Asked what served as the primary inspiration for the design of modern-day Spot, Wayshak enthuses, "Black Metal of course! You can't draw dragons without some epic metal! Spot's mostly inspired by all of those classic dragons you saw as a kid come to life. Imagine being Eddie with Spot trailing behind you. Every kid dreams of that. I just wanted him to be savage yet beautiful at the same time. Graceful, like a fire breathing cat."
"I think Bryan did an amazing job with the material," he adds. "He loves the characters and he treated them well. It's Herman, Lily, Grandpa, and the others that gave the original Munsters it's charm. The spooky aspects of the show were just icing on the cake. I think Bryan has carried on that tradition wonderfully."
Mockingbird Lane is directed by Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men) and stars Jerry O’Connell as Herman Munster, Portia de Rossi as his wife Lily, Eddie Izzard as Grandpa, Mason Cook as Eddie and Charity Wakefield as Marilyn.
That was the biggest steaming pile of crap I've ever seen. Bryan Singer should be ashamed of himself.
And Jerry O'Connell needs to fire his agent. He hasn't been in a decent project since Stand By Me. He's worse in picking roles than either Brendan Fraser or Macaully Culkin and yet for some reason he still gets work.
It's actually not that bad. It's not amazing, and it's definitely nothing like The Munsters, but in and of itself it's not really all that bad. I really liked Eddie Izzard's character, but then again I just really like Eddie Izzard, so I'm a bit biased on that point.
I'll respectfully disagree. I hardly think the Munsters TV show was a bonafide classic but this version was gory, sick, and disgusting. It's like doing a version of The Brady Bunch where the family were all murdering cannibals.
Hmmm, I might want to actually to SEE that latter idea.