Greenwalt and Kouf Tease Grimm’s Dark Mythology
ScreenSpy recently spoke to Grimm Executive Producers David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf as part of a round-table discussion on the show, its mythology and characters.
David Greenwalt’s credits are extensive but many genre fans know him as the executive producer, writer and director of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the co-creator of the successful spin-off series Angel.
Jim Kouf, who serves as both executive producer and writer on Grimm, has also written and produced for TV shows such as Angel, The Handler and Ghost Whisperer and for movies including Kalifornia, Silent Fall, National Treasure, Rush Hour and more.
The duo have been working together for almost 30 years.
During our interview we got to delve a little further into the dark fairytale world of Grimm in which Homocide Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) discovers his legacy as a Grimm – an ancient line of criminal profilers charged with keeping the balance between humanity and the mythological creatures of the world.
“It’s always a good time for fairy tales,” says Greenwalt of the show. “It’s a good time to be scared on a Friday night a little bit and have a bedtime story that kind of, you know, gets under your skin a little bit.”
“Ours is an odd combination of horror, suspense, classic fairy tale story structure, iconic characters and humor,” adds Kouf. “So we’re trying to hit it all. We’re just want to be entertaining!”
Grimm is set to feature creatures with royal bloodlines dating back hundreds of years. I ask if the audience will ever get to see flashbacks to those times as part of the mythology of the show.
“That’s a great question,” says Greenwalt. “I wish! The answer is maybe. We haven’t gone that far in the mythology yet. [we haven’t gone] all the way back. But certainly, these creatures have been around from time to memorial. And there certainly is royalty in our story today. You know, there are still royals around but they like the creatures live among us and have their own disguises and their own agendas.”
So do the writers have a story bible mapped out for the first season or beyond?
“Yes and no,” Greenwalt tells me. “We have a book that’s much like the book that’s in the show that tells us of our different creatures and some of their different abilities and a lot of history on each of these creatures.
“We’re also discovering as we go. You know, we like to be surprised too. So it’s not like we know every move on the board but we kind of know what the board looks like if that makes any sense.”
During our interview David Greenwalt comments that they had Silas Weir Mitchell (Prison Break) ear-marked for the role of Monroe from the outset.
“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.‘”
“We actually created a part for Reggie Lee” adds Greenwalt. “We liked him so much we created a part for him as Sargent Wu in the series.”
On the basic appeal of the show, Greenwalt explains, “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.”
” Yes,” agrees Kouf. “Also our show is based in our world. So we’re just explaining a lot of bad behavior with fairy tale reasons!”
Grimm airs on NBC Fridays at 9/8c. and stars David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby, Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz and Reggie Lee.