Neil Gaiman, anthologies, and reboots share something in common: they’re all hot commodities in television today. Gaiman has won critics and audiences over with American Gods—which is returning for a second season on March 10th, 2019—and there’s already good buzz for his Amazon series Good Omens. And now, Gaiman is in talks to develop a reboot of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller.
According to Deadline, the author/TV writer-producer is teaming up with Fremantle and The Jim Henson Company for this anticipated project. The original series was created and executively produced by Jim Henson himself. The British production’s first season aired in May of 1987 and lasted for nine episodes. A second season entitled Greek Myths followed, and it included four self-contained stories. The Storyteller was narrated by the late John Hurt while Michael Gambon hosted Greek Myths. The linking element between both seasons was a dog voiced by Jim Henson’s son, Brian.
For the new incarnation, Gaiman will write and executive produce. The update will combine “various fairy tales and folklore” as well as possess a “binging quality.” Gaiman’s fascination with the original series lies in the show’s mystery. He says:
“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.”
Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company and executive producer of the reboot, says the 1987 Storyteller has always been a “special project” to her because of how closely she worked on it alongside her father Jim. She adds that she’s known about Neil Gaiman’s love for the series since 1991 when she met him while working at Warner Bros. Henceforward, they’ve bonded over their mutual love of folklore.
Neither Lisa Henson nor Gaiman have yet to reveal what fairy tales the reboot is adapting, but they said they’re looking to use lesser-known versions of popular stories. Henson said this decision…
“… gives the story the feeling of familiarity, but it’s also very different.”
Like in the original, the reboot will employ an “out-of-the-box” method when seeking out directors, and Henson and Gaiman think the idea of bringing back actors from the 1987 version is “marvelous.” Dante Di Loreto, President of Scripted Entertainment, Fremantle, North America hopes to reach the “broadest audience possible” when asked what network/platform will air/stream the new Storyteller.
No word on when Henson and Gaiman’s The Storyteller will be released. But in the meantime, do check out the series of graphic novels of the same name. In partnership with Boom Studios, the Jim Henson Company started publishing them in 2011.