Showtime is in for a Penny Dreadful

1931_Dracula_img10Showtime has just announced a new original series from writer John Logan (Rango, Hugo) and director Sam Mendes (Away We Go) called Penny Dreadful.  The two last collaborated on the most recent James Bond film, Skyfall.

Penny Dreadful (an 1800s’ colloquial term for trashy pulp novels) is described by the network as a psycho-sexual horror series (think American Horror Story, but with actual full-frontal nudity).  It’s set in Victorian England and features a cast of monsters from classic literature, including Frankenstein and his creation, Dorian Grey, and various people from the novel Dracula (though the press release is careful not to list Dracula himself, making us think that he will be a surprise reveal later on) interacting in a shared universe.


The series is scheduled to air in the second half of this year.  Here’s the press 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.”


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