EXCLUSIVE: With the latest James Bond movie Skyfall already smashing box office records, the film’s co-writer John Logan and director Sam Mendes are re-teaming on the TV side. In what would be both Logan and Mendes’ series debut, the two have partnered for a drama project. We’ve learned that the script, written by Logan with Mendes attached to produce and possibly direct, has been sent to premium cable networks.
It is described as an origin story set in the 1800s London in the vein of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which also was set in 19th century Europe, including London, and featured an assortment of fictional literary characters. The Logan/Mendes project features such characters as Van Helsing and Doctor Frankenstein as they hunt for vampires. The drama is unlikely to have spy elements as Eon Prods., which produces the Bond films, has a long history of preventing its writers and directors from working on other ‘spy’ material, even when they’re done with a 007 movie and have moved on. In the case of Logan, he is far from done with Bond – he already has been tapped to write the next two installments, Bond 24 and 25. Meanwhile, Mendes was the first Oscar winner to direct a Bond pic with Skyfall. He is producing the TV project through his Neal Street Prods.
Skyfall is breaking box office records overseas and opens this Thursday on IMAX screens and this Friday wide in North American theaters. Hollywood expects this installment to top both 2008′s Quantum Of Solace, which went on to gross $586M (£367.4M) worldwide, and 2006′s Casino Royale, which grossed $594.2M (£372.5M) making it the highest-grossing film in the Bond franchise (not adjusted for inflation or higher ticket prices). That includes the U.S., where all-in guesstimates top $215M – much better than Quantum Of Solace‘s $168.3M or Casino Royale’s $167.4M.
Mendes and Logan share a stage background. Mendes was a top theater director and Logan an accomplished playwright before they segued to feature directing/writing. Logan has been nominated for three Oscars for co-writing Gladiator, and scripting Hugo and The Aviator. His work also includes Rango, Coriolanus, Sweeney Todd, The Last Samurai and Any Given Sunday, and he won the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle awards for his play Red. Mendes won an Oscar for his feature directorial debut, American Beauty. His directing credits also include Revolutionary Road and Away We Go. Both are repped by CAA.