At TCA today, Showtime entertainment president David Nevins confirmed our story that the network has made a deal for a drama series from Skyfall‘s co-writer John Logan and director Sam Mendes. The psychosexual horror project, titled Penny Dreadful, has received a series commitment, with production eyed to begin in London in the second half of 2013. The show will feature some of horror literature’s most famous characters – including Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Gray and Dracula – as they become embroiled in Victorian London. During TCA’s executive session, Nevins said that the tone of the ensemble series will be “very realistic and very grounded, not Bela Lugosi. All exist in human form in turn-of-century London.” He noted that Logan, who “has been obsessed with monsters in literature since childhood” and wrote the project on spec, will write every episode of the series, adding that “our hope and intention is that Sam Mendes will direct it.” Logan and Mendes are executive producing with Pippa Harris. Here is the official release:
LOS ANGELES, CA (January 12, 2013) – Some of literature’s most iconic figures will step into the light on SHOWTIME in PENNY DREADFUL, a psychosexual horror series created, written and executive produced by three-time Oscar® nominee John Logan (Hugo, The Aviator, Gladiator) and executive produced by Oscar winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) and Neal Street’s Pippa Harris (Revolutionary Road, Call The Midwife), it was announced today by David Nevins, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks. PENNY DREADFUL will begin production in London in the second half of 2013.
In PENNY DREADFUL, some of literature’s most famously terrifying characters – including Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Gray and iconic figures from the novel Dracula – become embroiled in Victorian London. The series weaves together these classic horror origin stories as the characters grapple with their monstrous alienation. This project marks Logan and Mendes’ second major collaboration, following Skyfall, their recent critically-acclaimed and box office record-breaking James Bond film, which Mendes directed and Logan co-wrote; and their first ever collaboration for television. The project will be produced by Mendes’ production company Neal Street Productions.
“John Logan and Sam Mendes are two of the great storytellers of our time,” said 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.”