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Syfy Makes Fairy Tales More Grim

AliceSyfy announced  it is adding a new Saturday Original Movies genre to its popular mix, re-imagining classic fairy tales, legends and pop culture characters — from Little Red Riding Hood, Aladdin and Sinbad the Sailor to Hansel and Gretel — beginning with the premiere of Beauty and the Beast on Saturday, February 27, at 9PM (ET/PM).

Starring Estella Warren (Planet of the Apes), Beauty and the Beast is not the traditional Disney fairy tale. In this gritty celebration of Valentine’s Day, a young Beauty (Warren) with a gift for healing helps a deformed Prince (Rhett Gilles, Wraiths of Roanoke) regain his throne and defeat the ruthless nobleman who wants to be king — and then together they try to destroy a power-hungry witch. Beauty and the Beast was directed by David Lister and written by Gavin Scott.

Said Thomas Vitale, Executive Vice President, Programming and Original Movies, Syfy: “By turning familiar timeless stories inside out — like retelling Little Red Riding Hood as a werewolf tale or envisioning a dark version of Shrek — we’re creating an entertaining new genre for our popular Saturday night movie franchise, which has become the television destination for fans of action-packed independent sci-fi, horror and fantasy films.”

During 2009, the 22 Syfy Saturday Original Movies averaged nearly two million total viewers (1.8 million) across the channel’s twice-monthly original presentations. Syfy is one of television’s most prolific producers of original movies.

Vitale also announced a preliminary development slate for the new line of Syfy Original Movies including:

Red — A young woman who is a descendant of the real Little Red Riding Hood brings her fiancé home, where he meets the family and learns about their business – hunting werewolves.  He’s skeptical until bitten by a werewolf.  When her family insists he must be killed, Red tries saving him.

Hansel — Twenty years after his encounter with the witch, a grown-up Hansel returns to the haunted forest, seeking revenge.  But there’s a surprise waiting – his sister Gretel (who he thought had been killed) is the witch’s protégée.

8TH Voyage of Sinbad — Sinbad searches for the golden head of the long lost Colossus of Rhodes and, instead, discovers an island where the mythical Minotaur still rules, protecting a vast treasure.  Sinbad and his crew have to battle the creature and its minions to get the treasure and save their own lives.

Aladdin (working title) — After accidentally releasing an evil genie from an ancient lamp, Aladdin must find a way to imprison the genie again before it wreaks havoc on the world.

Black Forest — A group of naïve tourists take a sightseeing tour into a supposed enchanted forest, where they encounter evil creatures from the world of fantasy. Trapped in the Black Forest, their only hope of survival is fighting their way out.

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