Neil Gaiman and the Jim Henson Company are coming together for a modern version of the '80s anthology series.
After we reported that Labyrinth was getting a sequel, we are now hearing that the '80s anthology series by Jim Henson, The Storyteller is also getting a reboot. According to a report by Deadline, Fremantle has teamed with The Jim Henson Company and author/TV writer-producer Neil Gaiman to develop a reboot of the classic for television. Originally, the series premiered in 1987 and it adapted classic European folktales.
April 14, 1989: The Jim Henson Hour premieres on NBC— Muppet History (@HistoryMuppet) April 14, 2020
The short lived series comprised of 2 half hour segments: MuppeTelevision and The Storyteller. However, a few episodes were hour long specials.
The show has since gained a cult following, often considered ahead of its time pic.twitter.com/in3kzZjfLf
John Hurt played the role of the elf storyteller, a character that was inspired by the studies of Jim Henson's daughter Lisa. She studied folklore and mythology at Harvard University. Jim Henson created the original version of The Storyteller and also directed multiple episodes. All the episodes were written by Oscar winner Anthony Minghella. The series won a number of Emmy and BAFTA awards and also featured creatures by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop which were used by the mysterious elf storyteller.
You will find many mysterious and magical characters in the world of the Storyteller like heartless giants, enchanted beggars, white lions, and human hedgehogs. Each episode explores the theme of fear, desire, death and destiny, and challenges notions about good and evil. In the reboot version of Neil Gaiman, The Storyteller will have the same essence of the 80s magic and mystery, but it will also be up to date with current times so that the audience can identify themselves with the show.
Characters from Jim Henson’s THE STORYTELLER series (1987-1989). pic.twitter.com/LpyOpVKbMN— Tales from Weirdland (@WeirdlandTales) January 23, 2019
Gaiman said, "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.”
I’m so excited for it. Also hideously jealous of you! My dream job would be to voice a Jim Henson creation.— David Ames (@semadivad) May 31, 2019
Gaiman is known for popularising folklore and mythology. Be it his book American Gods or the African folklore of Anansi Boys, or his recent Norse Mythology books, nobody can deny that Gaiman has a gift with words which make the characters in his story come to life.
[email protected]🏡 (@MaryRobinette) February 20, 2019
Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company said, "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.”
Lisa was already aware of Gaiman's love for The Storyteller since their first meeting in 1991 and over the years, the two have formed a close bond thanks to their deep knowledge of folklore mythology. Gaiman said, "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."
Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Ghosts Issue 2 cover. This is probably my favourite cover from this whole series. Let me draw horror and fantasy forever. pic.twitter.com/Sc4dn7DBQZ— Michael Walsh (@Mister_Walsh) February 27, 2020
He concluded saying, "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."
Are you excited? Let us know!