Vet Star Trek Writer Bryan Fuller Rebooting The Munsters & Pinocchio

Star Trek Voyager writer/producer Bryan Fuller has created a number of original and critically acclaimed shows, but now he is going to take a crack at a couple of reboots: The Munsters for TV and Pinocchio for film. Details below.


Fuller to reboot the Munsters + writing Pinocchio movie

Bryan Fuller started his career in the 90s working on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, focusing on more character-based episodes, like Barge of the Dead, Workforce and Friendship One. Fuller then went on to create a number of critically-acclaimed series: Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies. Fuller is a huge Trekkie and has made comments that he would be interested in developing a new Star Trek TV series, but for now it looks like he will be rebooting another genre show from the 60s. EW is reporting that Fuller is working on a modern-day reboot of the horror spoof classic about a family of ‘monsters’: The Munsters. NBC has ordered a pilot which EW touts as "True Blood meets Modern Family". Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy) is also reported to be involved behind the scenes.  

Original opening and closing credits for "The Munsters"

This will not be the first time that The Munsters have come back since the original show went off the air after 2 seasons in 1966. In 1988 the syndicated series The Munsters Today ran for 3 seasons, and continued the story of the original characters (but with new actors) who were transported to 1988 via a "sleeping machine" created by Grandpa. There was also a number of TV movies both with the original cast and new casts, the last of which were Here Come The Munsters (1995) and The Munsters Scary Little Christmas (1996). 

Promo for "Here Come The Munsters"

Fuller also writing Pinocchio feature

Rebooting The Munsters is not the only thing Fuller is up to these days. Recently The Wrap reported that the Trek vet has been hired to write a live-action "Pinochhio" movie for Warner Brothers, based on the classic novel "The Adventures of Pinocchio" the story of a puppet that dreamt of becoming a real boy, most famously adapted as a 1940 Disney animated feature. In a recent interview with SciFi Media Zone, Fuller discussed his approach to the classic story.

Original trailer for Disney version of "Pinocchio"

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Hollywood is officially out of fresh ideas!!

Good Lord, didn’t they already re-boot the munsters a few (maybe more) years ago? And it failed miserably?

Bryan, whatever you do don’t learn from past mistakes. Munsters reboot didn’t work once. It isn’t going to work again.

Simply the mention of the word ‘reboot’ makes me physically ill these days. Rebooting your computer is all fine with me but this constant remaking of old ideas is something that I find somewhat pathetic.

As much as I like the Munsters, I don’t think a reboot could work; I can’t imagine anyone better than Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo and Al Lewis in those roles. NBC would be better off rerunning the original.

“NBC has ordered a pilot which EW touts as “True Blood meets Modern Family”

I keep waiting for this vampire pop culture movement to die down, but it seems the younger folks can’t get enough of it. Even Stephen King has “sold out” now by doing some silly vampire comic book. And of course even our good leader, Anthony, covers the vampire movies and tv shows on this website.

Scotty, please beam me out this vampire pop culture movement!

My mistake. It was rebooted in 1988 and then again in the 90’s. And it didn’t work any of those times.

So hat’s off to you Bryan. That would be the hat-trick of failed reboots on one series.

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire

# 5. Could it be that our very own Anthony is a Vampire. Lol. I think the Munsters could work if done right. Just keep the orignal music for the new series like Hawaii Five O has done. As far as actors that could be in the Munsters there are a few that would work. But will see what they have in store.

And keep the Munstermobile and Spot!

I understand the sentiment that causes we humans to believe that actors are their roles but we have to listen to our intellect and realize that it ain’t necessarily so.

Granted if the writing is not there for a comedy, almost no one can save such a project like vets with their establish shtick to fall back on, and there’s no way for a new cast to have that as a fallback.

Still, I liked Ann Magnuson’s Lily and even though he’s only done it as a goof, I think Brad Garrett can do a credible Herman especially if he’s given proper direction. The toughest to cast would be Grandpa…maybe Christopher Lloyd .. but it would take some effort for him to dig out a maniac laugh that the character must have?

I think Fuller could possibly pull it off. And if the set and character designs are influenced by del Toro, all the more to the better. PUSHING LILIES could be something good.

Man, all you have to do is pick a popular series or movie from decades ago, pitch a shitty script, and it will get bought up!!!! Hollywood is terrific

Pinocchio is real big in my house with my young sons. I also love it. Can’t imagine why it needs to be redone.

Also have a soft spot for the original Munsters….although I like the Addams Family better. Mmm, Caroline Jones.

Well, like fast food, most TV is the grease of western civilization. It’s either cheap or free to keep the wheels turning — TV by allowing some voyeuristic respite from the monotony of a daily 9 to 5 existence which would otherwise be intolerably uniform and predictable, risking subversive unrest.

TMMW (formerley, TrekMade... Well, You know the rest)

The Munsters? Oh, that takes imagination.



But for those who’d like a little thought with their entertainment, I recommend “Mad Men.” Each episode is like a mini Lawrence Block novel—writing that can make you laugh and cringe in the same instance, then make you think the next day exactly why you were laughing and cringing.

James Cannon - Runcorn Trekkie UK

Absolutely spot on…..

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire

So far this seasons shows there are a couple that are orignal. No Ordanary Famly and the Event. 2 good ones that are new and fresh. Hawaii five O even though is a bit of a reboot I like so far. Great Cast. I would love to see more and more fresh things besides reboots. But if there going to do a reboot then please do it right.


PINOCCHIO was written by the Italian, Carlo Collodi (aka Carlo Lorenzini) in the 18th century and entered in the public domain ages ago. So many productions have been done of it that it is difficult to know to which that you refer.

Keep in mind, whichever one that you are referencing, chances are it wasn’t the first redo of the novel in scripted form.

“The Munsters” was part of the “silly sitcom” craze of the early 60s. The most successful of the silly sitcoms was “Bewitched”, but “Mr. Ed”, “My Favorite Martian”, “I Dream of Jeannie”, and “The Addams Family” were hits as well. They all died out by the early 1970s in favor of more down-to-earth sitcoms like “All in the Family”, “Sanford and Son”, and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”.

The first “Addams Family” movie was a big hit, but the second fizzled and no one remembers the third. There was a “My Favorite Martian” remake ten years ago or so that was absolutely awful. Then there was a big budget “Bewtiched” movie that was even worse (it seems to turn into a different movie half-way through.)

A remake of “The Munsters” has “collosal failure” written all over it. I’ll be shocked if NBC picks it up. They gave up on the much more reasonable “Rockford Files” remake, after all.

The classic 1940 “Pinocchio” is a very dark movie (the whole Pleasure Island storyline). A live-action version is going to be one very dark, weird, and creepy movie. Good luck, Mr. Fuller!

RE: The Munsters….great. Let’s do it in 3D, while we are at it……

When Star Trek returns to TV, Bryan Fuller should be a major part of it.

Oh for gods’ sake, can’t a nice memory from childhood just STAY a memory anymore?

I liked the Munsters too (very much), but they’ve already tried to revive them before (several times, as I recall) and it never worked out. Fred Gwynne and Yvonne deCarlo were irreplaceable. And it’s not like Bryan Fuller did such a bang up job with Voyager.

Let the Munsters rest in peace (no pun intended).

To all the naysayers of this Munsters reboot: there have been BIG successes in supernatural reboots… Buffy the Vampire Slayer… The Addams Family…theres more but the enormous reboot successes of both these make it unnecessary to list the others…so everyone have faith… it’ll work…. i hope…

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire

Well. Next thing you know they will reboot Charmed and Iron Side and Dragnet and Buffy and M.A.S.H. I bet that someday it will happen.

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire

They will probly try and reboot Gunsmoke and Have Gun will travel and Wagon Train. Wait. Those are Westerns. Maybe not on those shows.

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire

They Could Remake My 3 Sons and the Real MCcoys and Petticoat junction. I think I better stop before i give to many Ideas out.


They already remade Dragnet in the early to mid 2000’s. Ed O’Neil (of Married with Children and Modern Family fame) starred as Joe Friday. It lasted for a couple of seasons on ABC before getting the boot.


I would welcome a Have Gun Will Travel remake or a big screen version. The trouble is getting someone to match the wit and intelligence and screen presence of Richard Boone. Any thoughts?

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire

#26. You are right. Back then those shows had everything. Great Writing and Acting and they always had a good Plot. But todays shows for the most part and there are a few exceptions just don’t get me drawn in. Shows like Dragnet and Adam 12 and Emergency and M.A.S.H and of course Star Trek were always on the forfront of great T.V. Todays Writers for the most part just want to reboot older shows and try and cash in. Not to many writers can make a remake and make it work. It does look like Orci and comp are doing a good job on Hawaii Five O.

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire

If you look at some of the best shows on T.V now they are not remakes or reboots. N.C.I.S and C.S.I are 2 great Examples. Though N.C.I.S was a Spinoff of J.A.G and C.S.I does have it’s Spin Offs but are still well done shows. The Event is looking good and No Ordanary Family is promising. Hawaii Five O while a reboot does have a great Cast and great Writing. One of the few Exceptions.

22… “Buffy” wasn’t a reboot, it was a continuation of the movie four years later (the pilot episode referred to events in the movie as to why Buffy had to move to a new town and school.) “The Addams Family” was actually based on a long-running comic series that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post. The 1991 movie was more faithful to the comic than to the TV Show. That was a hit, but the sequels (“Addams Family Values”, “Addams Family Reunion”) were flops, as was the attempt to make a new TV series in 1998. So I’m not sure you can call its success ‘enormous’, and the TV failure doesn’t bode well for “The Munsters”.


Yes, and if I’m not mistaken, Gene Roddenberry wrote some episodes of Have Gun Will Travel. Probably why it was a bit more cerebral than most westerns of that era.

STOP IT!! Just stop!!

All of you writers. Do something original!!! You got into writing for a reason. To tell stories!! Well start telling stories that come from inside you. Stop ruining everything!

31- Its SHOW BUSINESS- I agree that we need original ideas- but these reboots will pay the bills (and then some ) for these writers.
Scriptwriters have to crank out a SHOOTABLE script on a couple of different levels.
It has to be shot over so many shooting days.
It has to get by the sensors
The networks
The directors and on down the line.
I’m sure some of them are groaning “Oh my effing God,” as they are writing this stuff.
But it gets them credibility so they can pitch the ideas that get them excited on a creative level.
If we dont like the idea of reboots- vote with our remote control.
Watch something else.

Sounds like some classic TV in the making there…. NOT.

Ed Helms for Herman Munster!

Never really liked the Munsters

29. Thorny

Weeeeeeell . . .

Strictly, if we’re going to be fussy about the details, the series BtVS was a sequel to Joss Whedon’s original movie screenplay before multiple different people changed the screenplay into a reject 80s movie!

I really don’t have any desire to see a Munsters reboot. It was a thing of its time, shot in black and white, like the most famous Universal Horrors and had a great cast. I’m sick of reboots, remakes, reimaginings or whatever name they choose to call them!

There are some good original shows out there, but I wonder if the biggest problem is that we have a cineliterate generation of writers who grew up watching shows and movies, then pretty much went straight into screenwriting rather than have working lives before that.

People like Gene Coon served in the military and Gene Roddenberry the police before becoming writers and their lives were informed by that. It gave a greater depth and maturity to their work. In a culture with such an over-saturated, all powerful media, maybe it’s harder for people to step away and think of something original!

@ 17

I refer to the horrible version with Drew Carrie of course. We love it in my house. Just kidding. I’m talking about the1940 Disney version. My children don’t know from Collodi or Puzo. They just love jiminy.

Special shout to Dickie Jones, the original voice of Pinocchio, born in Snyder Texas (birthplace of my mother too). 83 yrs young and still kicking.

To say Hollywood has run out of ideas…is cliche but true. From tv shows to movies, they are recycling old shows from the past, because the young writers of today don’t have an original idea in their head. Even music artists are lazy and sample other artists songs, because they lack the drive to invent a new beat. The Munsters worked for the time and had the perfectly cast actors to play those characters. You can’t just cookie-cutter different actors and have them portray the same characters and expect magic. What baby boomers laughed at and have nostalgia for won’t work doing an updated version of a silly 60’s sitcom playing today in 2010 and expect the same audience.
People my age laughed at this stuff in the 60’s, because it was ALL that was on, it was new, and were not spoiled by today’s expectations in quality. And many of us were using drugs and stuff was far more interesting and hilarious when we were toking on a roll-your-own-funny-cigarette.

I recently read there are about 75 remakes and reboots coming to film and tv. The obvious question is “why so many remakes and reboots?” How many remakes or reboots have brought in big dollars? Consider the Batman and James Bond reboots. These films did pretty good numbers at the box office, which tends to justify doing reboots. Consider how many films you’ve gone to that were remakes, and how many other people went to see them. If no one was going to see a reboot of James Bond, or a remake of Robin Hood, etc., then Hollywood wouldn’t be making them. So, the point is that, in general, the audience wants to see these “familiar” products. They have a better idea of what they’ll be getting. And it’s usually a more profitable path for the Hollywood machine to take, because they know people are more likely to flock to the theaters for something they know rather than something unknown, even if it turns out to be a piece of crap. So, I don’t think it’s so much that Hollywood has run out of new ideas — they’re just playing it safe. However, the success of a movie like “Inception” — one of the more “original” films to come along in recent times — offers some hope, giving Hollywood execs the evidence that people do want to see something new and different. When the remakes and reboots start regularly bombing at the box office, we’ll see less of them. But… Read more »

Fuller’s quirky style could work with the Munsters but I still don’t think it will fly. I liked Pushing Daisies. It was original. This isn’t. Good Luck!

Yeah, movies is business and the function of business is to keep the gears turning. Induction is not a means of knowledge, and there are ample testaments to its miserable failure in films like District 9, which weren’t supposed to succeed. Constantly walking forward while facing back, we are bound to miss the possibilities of the future.

Hence, the reboot.

Of course, some films/franchises can by slyly subversive, appearing to be the typical societal sedative, but unexpectedly stimulating thought and debate.

Which reminds me. Note to Bob Orci: Three things I hope NEVER to see in any of your future work:

1. Car goes over cliff. Explodes.

2. Important character dies with eyes open. Another important character passes hand over eyes. Eyes come out closed on other side of hand.

3. And if main character is ever faced with the uncertain choice whether to cut red wire or blue wire, may entire show blow up.

: )


Oh, you mean the reboot of the 1911 French flick? So you do like reboots.


Yep, you are right. It has nothing to do with running out of story ideas but everything to do with running out of things and people the suits believe can cover their butts in laying millions on the line..

It does bother me that people think of Disney’s SNOW WHITE, PINOCCHIO, CINDERELLA, SLEEPING BEAUTY, etc. and other flicks based on prior art as “original” ideas.

The idea of doing a monster comedy wasn’t “original” to THE MUNSTERS and centering it around a family wasn’t very original given TV’s template for comedies in the 50s and 60s.

While I enjoyed them in my youth (and still do) in the 1960s people are misremembering it as “successful”. It only lasted 2 seasons and had one direct spin off motion picture that did so poorly at the box office that it killed the 60’s motion picture for the original cast spin off of GET SMART.

41. dm

Yeh, I really hate when the bomb is about to go off, the expert determines the wiring is some sort of deception and, therefore, he’s not sure which wires to cut. He cuts the always-safe first two wires (complete with sweat and held breath), as the clock counts down to 1 second. Somehow, he always cuts the right wire to save the day (complete with closing eyes and sigh of relief). What a stroke of luck! How many times have we seen this tired cliche?

Will they obey the rules of Munsters canon?

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire

#43. In the Movie leathl Weapon 3 they did cut the wrong wire and the Bomb did go off. Probly the only Movie I seen where the Bomb went off on cutting the wrong wire. Lol.

The Munsters depended SO heavily on the audience’s love of the Universal Pictures monsters of the 1930’s and 1940’s (which were alive again on 1950’s and 1960’s TV.) Won’t a “Twilight” audience wonder who the hell Grampa is supposed to be? Will Eddie be wearing a hockey mask? The problem here (to me) is that the old UP monsters faded when the real horrors of WWII showed up. More recent movies have gone wall-to-wall gore to compete with the horrors in our daily news. Frankly, attempts to sustain a joke using Jig-Saw or Freddie fall flat. (Please God, no more “Scary Movie” movies!) Good luck, but I don’t think the audience is holding its breath.

43: “Somehow, he always cuts the right wire to save the day (complete with closing eyes and sigh of relief). What a stroke of luck! How many times have we seen this tired cliche?”

You’d think use of that cliche was exhausted by now, but I saw it this past week. Second episode of JJ’s Undercovers.

45. Capt Mike
Thanks for that, I didn’t see that one. I stopped watching after LW2 when Joe Pesci got on my nerves.
I do remember an early episode of M*A*S*H where an unexploded bomb landed in the compound. It eventually exploded, but they were given diffusion instructions in the wrong order. Happily, it only blew propaganda into the air.

47. dm
I didn’t see this either — I don’t watch much tv so I am spared a lot of grief! If JJ’s reading any of this, we must scold him for letting some lazy writer get away with that. Use of that cliche is definitely exhausted, and every writer should know better. So should every director and producer. And if they go ahead and do it anyway, they’re not being very nice to their audience!

@9 Disinvited “I understand the sentiment that causes we humans to believe that actors are their roles…”

Actors are only rarely their roles (consider the unfortunate Bela Lugosi) but roles ARE sometimes their actors. Herman Munster was such a role. He is so defined by the mannerisms of Fred Gwynne that every other portrayal has risen or fallen on the ability of the actor to *mimin* those mannerisms. (And no one has ever done duplicated his voice to my knowledge.)

Another thing thats been a problem with every attempt to re-do The Munsters is the use of color. The more recent movie and TV versions of The Addams Family got away with using a dark, brooding color scheme. But that won’t work for The Munsters – at least not the way the makeup is always done.

The Munsters were, as another poster poster has already pointed out, based on the Universal Pictures pantheon of monsters – and those were ALL black and white characters.

But no one is likely to let them make a modern television series is black and white, so Herman and Grampa and Lily will just look cheesy instead of oddly charming..

“mimin” should have been “mimic”

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