Showtime Gives Series Commitment to Project From 'Skyfall' Duo

Michael O'Connell
The Hollywood ReporterJanuary 12, 2013
BSkyB's Sky Atlantic to Co-Produce Showtime Horror Drama 'Penny Dreadful'

Showtime has given a series commitment to a new drama from Skyfall duo John Logan and Sam Mendes.

Penny Dreadful, which starts shooting in London later this year, is a period piece the network is describing as a "psychosexual horror." Logan, the creator and writer, is joined by Neal Street's Mendes and Pippa Harris as EPs.

The series draws from famous works of literature, posing that some of the most terrifying protagonists -- Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Gray, Dracula's Van Helsing and more -- come together in Victorian London.

"John Logan and Sam Mendes are two of the great storytellers of our time," said Showtime entertainment president David Nevins. "The visual spectacle combined with the psychological insight in their reimagining of these iconic literary characters seems totally mesmerizing to me. This promises to be a wholly original television show."

It marks the first television collaboration for the in-demand writer and director.

For its part, NBC -- under former Showtime boss Robert Greenblatt -- already has a Dracula series in the works. Their entry, starring The Tudors' Jonathan Rhys Meyers, is described as a new version of the classic Bram Stoker tale and see Dracula living a double life in the 1890s as an American businessman who wants to exact revenge on those who burdened him centuries ago. His plan, however, is derailed when he falls in love with a woman who looks just like his late wife.

The drama, which like Penny Dreadful, was picked up straight to series and will likely bow in the fall.