Word has emerged that Skyfall duo Sam Mendes and co-writer John Logan have decided to trade in bow-ties and martini’s for literary creatures as Showtime has given a series commitment for their horror-flavored detective drama, Penny Dreadful.
So far the series is being described by the network as a “psychosexual horror” — sounds like something Norman Bates would have been into — and is expected to start shooting later this year in London. If the notion of Sam Mendes working on a series for the same network that brings us Dexter, Californication and the popular CIA drama Homeland isn’t enough to grab your attention, how about the idea of him bringing monsters from famous works of literature to life on the small screen?
The title, Penny Dreadful, is a reference to stories from 19th century Britain that targeted young readers who were into all sorts of creepy shit — making the perfect title for a show set in Victorian London featuring horror’s most classic monsters.
Here is what Showtime had to say about the upcoming project:
“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(R) 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.”
While you could easily make a comparison to Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen — I know we are all trying to erase the film adaptation from our memories — I think Penny Dreadful has a ton of potential with its home at Showtime.
The actual character line-up is still a question mark but the likes of Dorian Gray, Dr. Frankenstein and his creature and of course Dracula can all be expected to make an appearance on the show.