SXSW: Showtime’s ‘Penny Dreadful’ Debuts Juan Antonio Bayona-Helmed Premiere Episode

By | Sunday March 9, 2014 @ 8:51pm PDT

Penny Dreadful Showtime SXSWLiterary and cinematic roots run deep in Showtime’s new psychosexual horror series Penny Dreadful, which debuts in May with an episode helmed by The Orphanage director Juan Antonio Bayona. Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, and Harry Treadaway star in the show created by Oscar-nominated scribe John Logan and exec produced by Sam Mendes which crosses the mythologies of iconic horror figures from Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dorian Gray lore in a Victorian England setting. “We wanted to pay respects to the mythology but bring them to a new level,” said Bayona of the show’s twisty take on well-known stories and characters.

Coincidentally, another thread connects the Penny Dreadful gang in front of and behind the camera. “There’s a lot of James Bond on this show: John wrote Skyfall, Sam directed it, Eva was in Casino Royale – I said to someone, I think I’m being groomed for the next Bond movie,” said Hartnett at a Q&A following the premiere of Penny Dreadful’s first episode Sunday at SXSW. Hartnett plays American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, who is recruited by Sir Malcolm (Dalton, a former 007 himself) and the enigmatic Vanessa Ives (Green) for a supernatural mission in London. The gothic series is one of a handful of television projects highlighted this year in SXSW’s new programming slate devoted to episodic /TV content.

Related: Showtime Lands Horror Drama From John Logan & Sam Mendes Read More »

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Hot TV Trailer: ‘Penny Dreadful’

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 4:27pm PST

Showtime has deployed the first full trailer for its psychosexual horror series that bows May 11. Penny Dreadful unites some of literature’s creepiest characters — including those ripped from tales of Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and Dracula — deposits them in Victorian London and lets the mayhem begin. … Read More »

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TCA: John Logan Says He Wrote ‘Penny Dreadful’ After Re-Visiting “Poor Vengeful Monstrous Creature That Is Frankenstein”: Video

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 2:08pm PST

TCADeadline__140109155905“I’m a total monster geek,” award-winning playwright turned go-to James Bond scriptwriter John Logan said when asked how he wound up  writing and exec producing Showtime’s psychosexual horror series Penny Dreadful. The pay cable network has ordered eight episodes of the series that features some of literature’s most iconic monsters, including Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dorian Gray. Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, Rory Kinnear, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney and Billie Piper star.

Reading a lot of Wordsworth2014 Winter TCA Tour - Day 8 led him to re-read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, he explained, adding, “I started thinking about why, almost 200 years later, we’re still reading ‘Frankenstein‘ and I think it’s because the monster breaks my heart. Growing up as a gay man before that was as socially acceptable as it is now, I knew what it was like not to feel socially acceptable, but the same thing that made me monstrous to some people made me who I was.”  Re-visting Frankenstein, he said, “I wept reading about the pathos and suffering of the poor, vengeful, monstrous creature.“ Read More »

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TCA Showtime: Concept For Next Season Of ‘Homeland’ Revealed; ‘Penny Dreadful’, ‘Californication’ Final Season Premieres Set

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 10:09am PST
Nellie Andreeva

homelandlogoUPDATED: Executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa are already deep in discussions on Season 4 of Homeland, and today Showtime entertainment president David Nevins gave a glimpse at what is in store for the show, which … Read More »

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Hot TV Teaser: Showtime’s ‘Penny Dreadful’

By | Tuesday December 17, 2013 @ 3:27pm PST

The psychosexual horror series features some of literature’s most frightening and iconic figures as they grapple with alienation in Victorian London. Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, Rory Kinnear, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney and Billie Piper star in Showtime‘s eight-episode Penny Dreadful. Here’s a 3o-second peek:

Related: Read More »

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Sky Atlantic To Co-Produce Showtime’s ‘Penny Dreadful’; Billie Piper Joins Cast

By | Monday September 16, 2013 @ 5:13am PDT

Enhancing its original drama slate, the UK’s Sky Atlantic has come aboard to co-produce John Logan’s upcoming period series Penny Dreadful with Showtime. The psychosexual horror series features some of literature’s most frightening and … Read More »

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Showtime’s ‘Penny Dreadful’ Adds Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear & Harry Treadaway

By | Monday September 9, 2013 @ 3:10pm PDT

John Logan’s Showtime drama series Penny Dreadful is enlisting a trio of rising actors for its psychological frights debuting next … Read More »

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Timothy Dalton To Star In John Logan’s Showtime Series ‘Penny Dreadful’

By | Friday August 23, 2013 @ 9:41am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It’s a Bond world on Showtime‘s new eight-episode drama series Penny Dreadful as former 007 Timothy Dalton has been tapped as one of the leads … Read More »

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TCA: Josh Hartnett & Eva Green To Star In Showtime Series ‘Penny Dreadful’, Ruth Wilson To Star In Pilot ‘The Affair’

By | Tuesday July 30, 2013 @ 1:43pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Josh Hartnett and Eva Green have been tapped as leads for Showtime‘s upcoming eight-episode series Penny Dreadful, created, written and executive produced by John Logan and executive produced by Sam Mendes. The psychosexual horror … Read More »

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Juan Antonio Bayona To Direct John Logan- Sam Mendes’ ‘Penny Dreadful’ At Showtime

By | Tuesday June 18, 2013 @ 12:24pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Showtime has officially announced that Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible, The Orphanage) will helm the first two episodes of the upcoming eight-episode drama series Penny Dreadful, created, written and executive produced by John … Read More »

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UK Tax Credit For TV Drama Goes Into Effect April 1 Amid Fears Of U.S. Cannibalization

Sam Mendes’ psychosexual horror series for Showtime, Penny Dreadful, will be among the first U.S. TV dramas to benefit from the UK’s newly-approved TV tax relief for high-end productions. Legislation for a 25% tax credit for TV series costing at least £1M per hour to produce — plus animated programs and video games — has been given the state-aid greenlight by Brussels, clearing the last major hurdle before coming into effect April 1. Largely based on Britain’s Film Tax Relief scheme, which has provided about £800M in rebates to more than 800 movies since 2007, the new law requires productions meet a British cultural test. Co-productions made under an internationally recognized treaty may also be eligible, and it’s believed the new regs could inject about $570M into the local industry. But there are concerns that the potential £200M in relief available by 2018 could be gobbled up by U.S. productions that employ British talent on UK shores.

When first announced in March last year, the relief was considered an effort to stem runaway production. Shows like BBC Two drama Parade’s End and the Julian Fellowes miniseries Titanic, were made abroad. Downton Abbey is among the rare exceptions of big-ticket UK shows that have been produced at home, and I’m told it will now look to benefit from the break. But the scheme is also a means to encourage foreign shows to come to the UK. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne consulted both Disney and HBO to lay out the strategy. Read More »

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PILOT SEASON: The Year Of Dracula

By | Friday February 8, 2013 @ 8:15am PST
Nellie Andreeva

With young vampires taking big bites out of movie box office and TV ratings in the Twilight franchise, HBO’s True Blood and the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, the granddaddy of them all bloodsuckers, Count Dracula, is making a big comeback. TV history buffs may correct me but, while the legend of Dracula has been mined endlessly on the big screen going back to Bela Lugosi, I cannot think of a single live-action American series about Dracula (NBC’s super-short-lived 1979 series Cliffhangers featured a Curse Of Dracula segment, and the syndicated Dracula: The Series was Canadian). Next fall we may have three.

First off is NBC’s straight-to-series drama Dracula, in pre-production for a possible fall launch. Set in 1890s London, it stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the Count and also features his archenemy, Abraham Van Helsing. At the time NBC’s Dracula was announced last summer, Starz said it is developing Vlad Dracula, a drama series from Spartacus producer Rob Tapert “tracing Dracula’s evolution from a revered ruler to the world’s most feared vampire.”

Last month, Showtime gave a straight-to-series order to John Logan and Sam Mendes’ Penny Dreadful. The drama, also set in Victorian London, features “some of literature’s most famously terrifying characters,” with Dracula and Van Helsing front and center. Two weeks after Showtime’s announcement, ABC gave a pilot order to drama Gothica, from producer Mark Gordon. Like Penny Dreadful, it too weaves together classic horror characters and stories, but in present day. One of the most prominent among them is Dracula, who is the series’ main antagonist. Guillermo Del Toro/Carlton Cuse’s FX pilot The Strain, which will likely go to series, also revolves around vampires. Read More »

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