'12 Monkeys' Boss on the Army's Identity, What 2043 Holds

"Who the 12 Monkeys are, what they are trying to accomplish, how they relate to time travel is the big question of the series," showrunner Natalie Chaidez tells THR.
SyFy

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the series premiere of Syfy's 12 Monkeys.]

Major changes are coming in Syfy's television adaptation of Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys.

During Friday's series premiere, James Cole (Aaron Stanford) travels back in time to try and stop a manmade virus from being released and decimating humanity. Cole, tasked with killing Leland Goines (Zeljko Ivanek), soon realizes upon completing his mission that his actions weren't enough to change the events of the future.

The decision to kill Goines not only changes major events of the movie, it alters everything viewers know about the Army of the 12 Monkeys, the main focus of both the film and the franchise.

Read more '12 Monkeys' Showrunner Previews Syfy's Adventurous Time Travel Tale

In the 1995 film, the Army of the 12 Monkeys served as a red herring. Originally believed to have spread the virus that kills billions of people, the 12 Monkeys in truth were nothing more than an activist group, led by Leland's son, Jeffrey, who freed zoo animals and locked Leland away in a cage for conducting experiments on animals.

With Leland dead, 12 Monkeys showrunner Natalie Chaidez shed light on what the audience can expect from the television adaptation of the Army of the 12 Monkeys and the 2043 timeline.

"Who the 12 Monkeys are, what they are trying to accomplish, how they relate to time travel is the big question of the series," Chaidez told The Hollywood Reporter. "Unraveling that mystery is our series journey. Knowing where Cole fits in their plan is a big part of it."

The mysteries, however, are not only related to the 2015 arc. While the movie did not spend much time exploring the future dystopia, Chaidez is set to bring 2043 and the dangers that come with it to the forefront. 

"In the series, we have the time to explore what was around those dark corners that we couldn't peer around in the movie," she said. "We really get to dig into how people survive in the future and how they are living. We have a group of people called Scavengers. They are the people who have survived but not always with the best morality. They've done what they've had to do."

Opening up the world and traveling past the walls of the Temporal Facility also will be a big part of the series. "You will see a little bit of that in episode four, 'Atari.' It continues to build in the next few episodes, and we refer to it in a big way at the end of the season," she noted.

No matter how deep the rabbit hole surrounding the mystery of the virus and the 12 Monkeys goes, Chaidez admits Cole's struggle will not always be against one force.

"Are there other evil forces at play? Are there other collaborators? Certainly, but the 12 Monkeys are definitely the mysterious force that Cole wrestles with and battles against over the course of the series," she explained.

12 Monkeys airs Fridays on Syfy. What did you think of the series? Sound off in the comments below. 

Twitter: @Bilal_Mian

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