NBC’s new fall drama Grimm already has the makings of a hit as far as some genre fans are concerned, as the fantasy/crime series comes from the minds of David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf, veterans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
Executive producers Greenwalt and Kouf and members of the Grimm cast sat down with the press at Comic-Con International to talk about the series, which puts a police procedural-style twist on familiar fairy tales.
“We’re gonna take the classic fairy tales that everybody’s grown up with and we’re going to turn those on their heads and come at them in a different way,” Kouf said. Greenwalt added, “We’re taking, in some instances, normal, everyday crime and giving it a Grimm explanation. So we’re taking just a piece of a fairy tale and then creating another story out of it.”
What the producers say sets this show apart from others is that it’s not split between two worlds, such as with ABC’s Once Upon a Time. In addition, the police-procedural element is somewhat turned on its head: Unlike the in-your-face aspect of monsters in Buffy and Angel, Grimm’s monsters reveal themselves from within ordinary people.
Actors Sash Roiz (Captain Renard) and Reggie Lee (Sergeant Wu) freely admitted they joined the series because of Greenwalt and Kouf. “That’s a pretty high pedigree,” Roiz said. “To work with veterans who have such a body of work … they’re a remarkable team, and also they’re just a delightful team to work for.”
Lee called them “fatherly,” and noted he’s curious to see what the duo comes up with. “It’s gonna be really interesting for us to see how they go about fracturing these things and making them a part of the real world,” he said.
The actors divulged that viewers have a few familiar tales to look forward to: The pilot tackles “Little Red Riding Hood,” but “Cinderella” and “Goldilocks” are also on the horizon.
Along with pulling from the fairy tale plots (and, oftentimes, their morality-lesson undertones), series lead David Giuntoli (Det. Nick Burckhardt) teases, “There’s gonna be a lot of darkness. It’s a very dark show, it’s a very suspenseful show, but it’s also going to be a lot of fun for the audience to watch.”
And when talk of Buffy and Angel comparisons arose, Bitsie Tulloch (Burckhardt’s romantic interest Juliette Silverton) admitted, “I hired a trainer when I booked the pilot … because of Buffy … I was like, ‘Clearly I’m going to be kicking some ass.’”
Giuntoli laughed that he was happy to be mentioned in the same breath as Greenwalt and Kouf’s previous works. Tulloch went on to say, “I think Buffy and Angel really kind of laid a groundwork, and I like where that genre has led us. But we’re different – we really are. It’s taking place in one world … you can’t really pinpoint it as one genre. It’s fantasy, it’s horror, it’s a thriller, it’s suspenseful, eventually it’ll be a little bit more romantic. … And there’s a reason those shows were so massively successful – they’re [Greenwalt and Kouf] great writers, they really are.”
So how will Grimm appeal to fans of Angel and Buffy?
“I’ll tell ya, what I learned from the master Joss Whedon was that there’s tremendous emotional power in so-called genre stuff,” Greenwalt said. “You can do stuff that’s bigger emotionally and people are closer to it and kind of protected from it at the same time. And we’re gonna have a lot of big emotion in the show – we’re gonna do some tragedies, we’re gonna have a lot of comedy in the show at the same time, it’s gonna be scary, so I think it’s like a new frontier yet it has roots in the past.”
Kouf added, “Just like Buffy and Angel – they had both very scary and horrific events, plus great comedy when you didn’t expect it. We hope to deliver the same thing.”
Grimm premieres Oct. 21 on NBC.