'Look away!' Patrick Warburton in a new trailer for Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events
Fans of Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events novels received a particularly delightful treat on Tuesday.
Netflix, which is adapting the 13 children's books into a show, released not only a new teaser trailer, but also divulged the release date: Friday the 13th of next January.
In the new trailer, Patrick Warburton plays 'Lemony Snicket,' the pen name under which author Daniel Handler wrote the novels.
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The tragic teaser: On Tuesday, Netflix released a teaser trailer for its upcoming show Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events
A camera pans downward to see Warburton as Snicket walking through a darkened set. Dim lights flick on as he approaches, revealing a cobblestone street flanked by shambolic buildings and old-fashioned lanterns.
In the style of the novels' darkly comic narration, a besuited Snicket introduces himself and whinges that 'once again I find myself in a dimly-lit room talking to a complete stranger.'
As he steps into a sunken area strewn with production supplies - costumes, a makeup mirror, cameras, crates - he notes: 'Under ordinary circumstances, this room would be buzzing with excitement and activity as directors, designers, stagehands and indentured servants prepare for a dazzling season of top-notch entertainment.'
Yet, he explains that 'the story of the Baudelaire orphans is so upsetting and so utterly unnerving, the entire crew is suffering from low morale, a phrase which here means: "currently under medical observation for melancholia, ennui and acute wistfulness."'
The deplorable date: The trailer also revealed that the show will arrive online Friday the 13th of January 2017
From off-screen, Neil Patrick Harris' voice can be heard singing: 'Joy! Joy! Happiness! My fortune's about to change,' prompting Snicket's wan: 'Almost everyone.'
The How I Met Your Mother star will portray the villainous Count Olaf. In the novels, the Baudelaire children - 14-year-old Violet, 12-year-old Klaus and infant Sonny - lose their parents to a mansion fire and are flung into Olaf's abusive care.
Though they manage to dislodge themselves from his custody, they wind up being shuttled from guardian to guardian, each stay ending in catastrophe, as Olaf continues to pursue them in the hope of seizing their massive inheritance.
As the trailer draws to a close, Snicket pleads: 'So, please, don't make the same mistake that Netflix has, and look away before this dire tale is even filmed, and avoid the cruel whimsy and whimsical cruelty of what's to come.'
The thankless thespian: The show is based on 13 children's books written by Daniel Handler as a character called Lemony Snicket, who is played in the trailer by Patrick Warburton
The trailer is speckled with Easter eggs for keen-eyed fans of the books. One is a wooden crate in the background marked: 'Very Flammable Dandelions.'
Several of the novels see the Baudelaires desperately trying to unearth whatever information they can about a mysterious organisation known as VFD.
Their efforts are repeatedly frustrated by the fact they keep encountering other things that could go by the acronym, from the Village Of Fowl Devotees to the Valley Of Four Drafts to Very Fancy Doilies.
Even the children's late parents, in an incident brought up multiple times in the books, once attended an eventful performance of Verdi's La Forza Del Destino.
The calamitous casting: Neil Patrick Harris will be playing the villainous Count Olaf, who spends the series chasing the three Baudelaire orphans in the hopes of securing their massive fortune
Another Easter egg is a clapperboard for a film called The Littlest Elf.
Near the beginning of the seventh A Series Of Unfortunate Events novel, The Vile Village, the author exhorts his readers to 'put this book down and pick up another one,' recommending a twee fairy tale called The Littlest Elf.
Also on the clapperboard is the director's name, Monty Kensicle, which is an anagram of Lemony Snicket.
Off in a corner is what appears to be part of a submarine, which is where the 11th book, The Grim Grotto, takes place. It could also be a part of Lavender Lighthouse, a place featured in the third book, The Wide Window.
The frightful filming: The How I Met Your Mother star was spotted on set in May
Some of the casting decisions for the forthcoming Netflix series have already been announced, with Malina Weissman playing Violet and Louis Hynes playing Klaus.
Dr Montgomery Montgomery, a reptile enthusiast who succeeds Olaf as the Baudelaire's guardian, will be played by Aasif Mandvi. Meanwhile, Aunt Josephine, the agoraphobe who follows him, will be played by Bernadette Peters.
In the 2004 film adaptation directed by Brad Silberling, the roles had gone to Billy Connolly and Meryl Streep, respectively. Olaf was played by Jim Carrey, Snicket by Jude Law.
The first A Series Of Unfortunate Events book, The Bad Beginning, was published in 1999. The next 11 novels had similarly alliterative titles like The Ersatz Elevator and The Penultimate Peril until the final one, The End, was released in 2006.
The pecunious predecessor: In the 2004 film adaptation directed by Brad Silberling, the part had been played by Jim Carrey
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