The pilot episode for “12 Monkeys” – a new Syfy series inspired by the 1995 Terry Gilliam film starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt – is being filmed at the University of Michigan’s North Campus Research Complex (NCRC) on Monday and Tuesday, December 16-17.
Rumors about the shoot circulated online Monday morning, after locals spotted loads of trucks and equipment.
“I guess they created a little traffic issue this morning, so I’m not surprised,” said Lee Doyle, director of U-M’s Film Office. ” … They’re going to shoot most of the pilot over there over the next couple of days. … They were looking to use lab space.”
According to the Michigan Film Office, “12 Monkeys” was approved for $1.5 million in film incentives (the production team is expected to spend $5.4 million total within Michigan) and planned to hire 150 Michigan workers.
Like GIlliam’s film, the series focuses on a time traveler from the future who’s trying to find and stop the source of a plague that will devastate Earth. Actors involved in the project include Aaron Stanford (“Nikita,” “X-Men: The Last Stand”); as a man from the future, Amanda Schull (“Suits”) as a doctor; and Zeljko Ivanek as a corporate power broker.
Currently, there are no arrangements to film at U-M beyond these two days.
“It depends on whether the show’s picked up,” said Doyle.
There’s also no information yet regarding when the show might air on Syfy. Doyle planned to visit the closed film set Monday afternoon.
“Hopefully they don’t blow anything up,” joked Doyle.
But it’s certainly possible.