After bursting onto the original series scene with premium cable-caliber adult fare such as House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black, Netflix is entering a new area: live-action family entertainment. On the heels of picking up AwesomenessTV’s live-action comedy Richie Rich, the streaming company has acquired rights to the best-selling series of books A Series Of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, with plans to adapt them as a live-action series. Search is underway for a director to help re-create Snicket’s visual world on TV. Netflix is producing the project, which is being fast-tracked, with Paramount Television. Paramount was behind the 2004 movie starring Jim Carrey, which grossed $209 million worldwide.
“On the search for fantastic material that appeals to both parents and kids, the first stop for generations of readers is A Series oOf Unfortunate Events,” said Cindy Holland, VP Original Content at Netflix. “The world created by Lemony Snicket is unique, darkly funny and relatable. We can’t wait to bring it to life for Netflix members.”
Narrated by Snicket, A Series Of Unfortunate Events recounts the tale of the orphaned children Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire at the hands of the villainous Count Olaf, as they face trials and tribulations, misfortunes and an evil uncle in search of their fortune, all in their quest to uncover the secret of their parents’ deaths. The 13 books in the series have sold more than 65 million copies and have been translated into 43 languages.
“I can’t believe it,” Snicket said, from an undisclosed location. “After years of providing top-quality entertainment on demand, Netflix is risking its reputation and its success by associating itself with my dismaying and upsetting books.” Netflix went on to say, “Mr. Snicket’s participation will be limited, given his emotional distress, but the project has the full involvement of his legal, literary and social representative Daniel Handler, who is often mistaken for him.”
Lemony Snicket, of course is the pen name used by novelist Handler in several children’s books. Snicket’s new book is Shouldn’t You Be In School?, the third volume of the autobiographical “All The Wrong Questions.” Handler’s next novel for adults is We Are Pirates. He will host the National Book Awards this month in New York.
Netflix’s family-oriented originals include a slew of animated series, mostly from DreamWorks Animation — including Turbo Fast and the upcoming The Adventures of Puss In Boots — as well as Ever After High.