Jim Kouf (National Treasure, Angel) and David Greenwalt (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) recently took some time to answer questions from the press about their new show, which premieres tonight at 9/8c on NBC. Take a look; you’ll get some insights that may help you decide if Grimm will survive your personal Fridaymageddon.
In fact, NoReruns asked what might help someone choose Grimm over the Friday night competition:
David Greenwalt: I think Grimm has the power of the genre shows, but its’ also got the power of the procedural shows and the idea of one complete episode every week so that you don’t need a score card to watch the show. You know, you get a complete story every week. Although there will be some mythology but it will be doled out slowly enough that you don’t have to see absolutely every episode to know absolutely everything that is going on with the show.
Jim Kouf: Yes. Also our show is based in our world. So we’re just explaining a lot of bad behavior with fairytale reasons.
Deadbolt.com asked where the idea of the extended world of the Grimm fairytales came from :
David Greenwalt: Jim Kouf and I were approached by Hazy Mills which is Todd Milliner and Sean Hayes’s company and Todd had this great idea about doing something in the modern world with the Brothers Grimm. And we flipped for the idea. And we came up with the notion that how to marry that mythology into the modern world would be by the following. That the original Brothers Grimm were in fact profilers.
And that the stories they were telling were in fact true on some basic deep level. And we came up with the notion that in our world of the Grimm, there would only be one world. There wouldn’t be a fairytale world and a real world. There would just be our world. And in our world lived these creatures who can be seen by our hero. And for example, he can see the big bad wolf and the child molester.
And it’s a sort of a marriage of a police procedural and a mythological fracturing fairytales every week.
NoReruns.net asked if their plan was to base every episode on an existing fairytale or if they would also invent their own:
Jim Kouf: All of the above.
David Greenwalt: All of the above. Some will be really clear like, oh, that’s Little Red Riding Hood or oh, that’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears or Sleeping Beauty or whatever. And then some will be less clear of what the specific fairytale will be. But there’ll always be an element of fairytale in the shows.
Jim Kouf: Or we’ll take a story from the headlines and give it a fairytale-like twist to it so you go, oh the real life story has a fairytale like quality to it.
TV Guide Canada asked if Grimm would be family friendly:
David Greenwalt: Well its’ family friendly if you like to be scared a little bit in their family. And, you know, it’s dark. I mean the actual tales themselves
Jim Kouf: Are gruesome.
David Greenwalt: Are really gruesome. And we’re not going quite that gruesome as the original tales are. But it is definitely, you know, it’s definitely showing a dark underbelly of life, you know, leavened with humor and action.
Spoiler TV asked for more about the Grimm creatures:
Jim Kouf: …they’re actually real people with real problems. And we actually, in the show, are telling their point of view as well. So you hear I’m the big bad wolf and there’s not – there’s many of them. We call them blutbad and they’re blutbads in the plural. And their behavior, from their point of view, is not all that bad. They accept it as normal.
David Greenwalt: And our one big bad wolf running character regular in the show is a vegetarian. And he does Pilates and he goes to church. And he’s trying to fight his grimmer impulses. So they run the whole gambit, the whole spectrum so that they’re not always evil or bad. Sometimes they’re good. Sometimes they’re innocent but they’ve gotten themselves into a situation which our hero has to help them.
So they kind of run the gambit that humans do. And each one is different. They’re not all the same. They can’t just be categorized as generically the same.
David Greenwalt: One more thing, these creatures, when they were little, they’re parents told them stories about the Brothers Grimm and to be afraid of the Brothers Grimm. So these creatures, when they recognize our character as a Grimm profiler/hunter of these creatures, some of them get very freighted because they’ve been told of these
Jim Kouf: Because they’ll slay them.
David Greenwalt: Yes. That they’ll slay them so. So there’s many points of view in this show.
I know we’ve been talking a lot about the Grimms fairytales. But is there a chance that we may see fairytales from like Hans Christen Anderson or even the original versions of how Cinderella’s actually pretty gruesome? Not the Cinderella that we know from Disney?
Jim Kouf: Yes. We’re saying that the Grimms were the profiles in their territory at their particular time. But anybody who told fairytales actually had the ability to see these characters. So they’re kind of related to the Grimms. So we will draw on fairytales from all over the world.
Monsters and Critics asked about the look of the series:
Jim Kouf: Part of that’s where were we’re shooting which is Portland. The look of Portland and the surrounding area is that lush, beautiful landscape. And I think we always wanted to give it a film like quality. So David and I both come from the film world as well. So we want it to look like a movie.
David Greenwalt: And a bit like a story book movie. And also, when we’re with the so called Grimm characters or Grimm creatures, we wanted to push the look and have brighter colors and less subdued hues. And then when we’re with the “regular normal people”, we wanted it to look a little more like real life. But we love the look of the forests with mist in them and the waterfalls and the streams and the rivers and all that great look you get in Portland as well as the story book look.
Sci-Fi Talk asked how they went about casting for the show:
Jim Kouf: The only one that we had in mind was Silas Weir Mitchell who plays Monroe.
David Greenwalt: Because Jim had worked with him before and from the beginning was saying you got to see this guy for this part. And when we saw him, it was like, “oh yes, who else could possibly do this part but Silas Weir Mitchell.”
Jim Kouf: Yes.
David Greenwalt: And David Giuntoli came through the casting process as did Russell Hornsby. But it was clear when those guys came into the room and read that there’s something very special about these 2. And then there was something special about those 2 together. We really saw them as partners. And Russell has a lot of depth and a lot of strength and power to what he does.
And David is terrific. He’s got charm. He suffers well which is always a thing you look for in these young stars.
Jim Kouf: We have a good supporting cast with Bitsie Tulloch and Sasha Roiz.
David Greenwalt: Yes.
Jim Kouf: Reggie
David Greenwalt: Sasha Roiz and Reggie Lee. We actually created a part for Reggie Lee. We liked him so much we created a part for him as Sargent Wu in the series.
Pop Culture Fashionistas asked about the makeup and special effects:
David Greenwalt: We have worked sort of long and hard to try to get a look to the show for the makeup and the special effects that is expressing something that’s inside the character you’re seeing. You know, there’s not just somebody in a mask but that you’re seeing the sorrow, the rage, the…
Jim Kouf: The emotions manifest themselves in kind of physical characteristics.
David Greenwalt: And the idea that these creatures, you know, they live among us. But also that these feelings live inside all of us and the best way to express that is when the “creatures” look like the actors playing them. Not just like some fierce person in a mask.
Jim Kouf: But we’re using a combination of onset makeup and CGI effects depending upon what the needs of the scene are. And it’s pretty extensive in some scenes. And we have a really good team. I mean from the design concept of the creatures all the way through the delivery of the CGI work at the end.
Monsters and Critics asked what episodes 2 and 3 are going to be like.
David Greenwalt: Yes we could give you an indication of episodes 2 and 3. One will involve a retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. And one will involve bees. Like thousands of bees. Lots of bees.
Jim Kouf: Well we’re taking little bits and pieces from a lot of fairytales. So you may not actually recognize the fairytale we’re drawing from because some are not that well known. But there’s one called the Queen Bee and it’s not one that everybody can recall immediately. But, so we take bits and pieces from a lot of fairytales and we kind of meld them into real life stories as well.
SciFi Mafia was pleased to be able to ask a few questions as well:
SciFi Mafia: I loved the pilot. It’s just a little bit more accessible than some of the other current fantasy/horror shows like True Blood or American Horror Story. Scary, but not AS scary, and I really love the humor. I’m curious, were you asked to tone down the violence and put in more comedy, or is it pretty much the balance that you went in to this with originally?
Jim Kouf: That’s kind of us.
David Greenwalt: Yes. That’s kind of our approach to stuff, you know, when we’re writing a really serious scene. We start chuckling about things and we’re writing a less serious scene, we see things that are darker. And that balance was really struck from our original outline and our original script that we wrote for NBC.
Jim Kouf: And the ability to tell the story is from the Grimm character’s point of view opens up so much for the show because it allows us to, you know, explore our feelings and reasons and all those fun things that most shows don’t do.
David Greenwalt: And our villains usually have a good reason for what they’re doing. It may be very sick and crazy in our world but in their world it may be as simple as just getting a meal.
SciFi Mafia: Sure. And along those lines, is there going to be an attempt to reform other creatures like Monroe is already reformed? Or is that rarely going to be an option?
Jim Kouf: Well not all creatures are bad to begin with.
David Greenwalt: No some of them are good and they run the gambit just like you and I and the people in the world of good, bad and indifferent. So, Monroe has had to fight his nature because he’s a blutbad because of the blutbad family he comes from. But not everybody is out there doing dastardly things. Most of them are just trying to pay the rent and get on with their lives.
SciFi Mafia: And I love that aspect of it. It’s a really nice, nice twist. Are the two of you the only two writers in the writers’ room or are there more?
David Greenwalt: The two of us are the only. Oh, well we have a staff. We have a staff of 8 other writers. And we’re all working together to bring the show to fruition.
SciFi Mafia: Anybody that has similar genre experience like you two have?
Jim Kouf: Nobody’s got the genre experience that we have. But, you know.
David Greenwalt: Yes. We just wanted people who could write you know “good stories”. And we’re kind of filling in the blanks.
SciFi Mafia: Well you’re actually perfectly qualified for that.
David Greenwalt: Thank you.
SciFi Mafia: And I’m really looking forward to seeing the rest of the series.
Jim Kouf: Thank you.
David Greenwalt: Thank you
Thanks again to Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt for taking the time to speak with us. Don’t forget to check out our advance review of the pilot for more information specifically about the first episode.
Grimm premieres tonight, October 28 at 9/8c on NBC.