Meet Neil Patrick Harris’ Count Olaf in the First Teaser for A Series of Unfortunate Events

In just a minute, you can see how Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events looks to be a much better adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s book series than the 2004 film. I think it comes down to the villainous Count Olaf: Jim Carrey played him very slapstick (that is, very different from Snicket’s writing) in the movie, whereas Neil Patrick Harris’ take is more quietly ominous.

Of course, it’s only a teaser, shorter even than the introduction from Lemony Snicket himself (Patrick Warburton). But you get a sense of the world, as the Baudelaire orphans (it’s our first look at them, too) are brought to live with Count Olaf after their parents mysteriously die in a fire at the Baudelaire mansion:

As Collider points out, we don’t yet know how many books in the series the Netflix adaptation will cover, especially as it’s only eight episodes. (It would be especially fun to see NPH play to Olaf’s affinity for disguises, which gets hinted at in the teaser.) The official synopsis from Netflix:

Based on the internationally best-selling series of books by Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) and starring Emmy and Tony Award winner Neil Patrick Harris, A Series of Unfortunate Events recounts the tragic tale of the Baudelaire orphans—Violet, Klaus, and Sunny—whose evil guardian Count Olaf will stop at nothing to get his hands on their inheritance. The siblings must outsmart Olaf at every turn, foiling his many devious plans and disguises, in order to discover clues to their parents’ mysterious death.

All eight episodes drop at once on Friday, January 13.

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