Us cable channel Syfy has given the green light to a television remake of Terry Gilliam's 1995 cult movie 12 Monkeys.

The first season of the science fiction thriller will consist of 12 episodes and will premiere in January 2015.

The original film starred Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis and Madeline Stowe, with Willis in the lead as a convict sent back in time to gather information about a deadly virus.

Syfy president Dave Howe referred to the TV version as a "captivating time travel adventure and high stakes race against the clock" in a press release.

Aaron Stanford - who played Birkhoff in Nikita - leads the cast of 12 Monkeys in the Bruce Willis role, but the series isn't approved by the film's director.

The highly respected Gilliam, who is also a member of the legendary Monty Python comedy troupe, has described the TV reboot as being "ridiculous" and "dumb".

Gilliam also pointed out that the Syfy show "doesn't have anything to do with me and no-one has contacted me."