'A Series of Unfortunate Events': The dour series is coming to Netflix

The rights to the children's series by Lemony Snicket have reportedly been secured by the streaming company.

Francois Duhamel/Paramount Pictures
The 'Series of Unfortunate Events' film starred Liam Aiken (l.) and Kara/Shelby Hoffman (r.).

The misadventures of the Baudelaire children are coming to Netflix

According to Deadline, Netflix has acquired the rights to the children’s book series “A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Lemony Snicket and the show is being "fast-tracked." “Series,” which follows three orphans and their attempts to escape the clutches of their evil relative Count Olaf as they are passed from guardian to guardian, was previously adapted as a film in 2004. It starred Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, and Billy Connolly.

Some of Netflix’s original series, such as “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black,” have been critically acclaimed and been popular for the streaming service.

“Series” consists of thirteen books, the last of which was published in 2006.

“On the search for fantastic material that appeals to both parents and kids, the first stop for generations of readers is A Series Of Unfortunate Events,” Cindy Holland, vice-president of original content at Netflix, said in a statement. “The world created by Lemony Snicket is unique, darkly funny and relatable. We can’t wait to bring it to life for Netflix members.”

Author Snicket also contributed his thoughts from “an undisclosed location,” according to his own statement. (Snicket is the pen name of author Daniel Handler. In “Series,” Snicket himself is involved in the plot and often states that he is on the run from the authorities.)

“I can’t believe it,” Snicket said. “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 noted, “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.”) 

As former Monitor Books editor Ron Charles noted in a review of the series, “there's no better source of dark, ironic comedy for young readers,” so the new TV series will certainly be one on which to keep an eye.

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