12 Monkeys: Four Ways Syfy’s TV Series Will Diverge From The Movie

By David Wharton | 7 years ago

PittThe Army of the 12 Monkeys isn’t a red herring
In the film, Cole eventually realizes that the so-called “Army of the 12 Monkeys” isn’t behind the outbreak — they’re just a bunch of nutty activists who break a bunch of animals out of the zoo. Cole’s pursuit of the scientist carrying the plague ultimately fails, leaving Cole dead on an airport floor. It seems that Syfy’s 12 Monkeys will flip that on its head. See, Cole believes that if he does succeed in his mission, that action will retroactively erase him from existence — or at least the version of him we meet in the pilot. But in the pilot Cole apparently shoots Frost dead…but Cole remains.

In an even more intriguing twist, before he dies Frost tells Cole they’ve already met, but in his past and Cole’s future. Film Divider says Frost “mentions meeting an older version of Cole earlier in his life, back in 1987. During that meeting, Cole mentioned that he was looking for the Army of the 12 Monkeys.” So Cole doesn’t come back in time looking for the Army of the 12 Monkeys, but they will still play a major role in his story, and most definitely not the same role they did in the movie. In fact, Film Divider says the pilot ends with Cole returning to his own time, only to find a very different future, one where he meets a character called “The Gray-Eyed Man” who claims to represent the Army of the 12 Monkeys. So who are the Army of the 12 Monkeys? To hear old Gray Eyes tell it, “We’re the future…and we won’t be erased.”

The 12 Monkeys pilot was written by Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett (Terra Nova). Showrunner Natalie Chaidez also has a bit of experience when it comes to time travel: she was a writer and co-executive producer on Fox’s Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. 12 Monkeys is set to premiere on Syfy in January 2015, with a first season of 12 episodes.

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