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 iconic figures as they grapple with alienation in Victorian London. Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, Rory Kinnear, Harry Treadaway and Reeve Carney star, with Doctor Who‘s Billie Piper the latest addition to the cast. She’ll play an Irish immigrant trying to escape a dark past. Penny Dreadful is produced for Sky Atlantic and Showtime by Neal Street Productions and Desert Wolf Productions. Logan, Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris are exec producing. Oscar-nominee Logan created and wrote the series with the first two episodes to be helmed by The Orphanage and The Impossible director Juan Antonio Bayona. Shooting starts in October at Dublin’s Ardmore Studios.
Sky Atlantic HD‘s six-episode comedy series from writer/director Robert B. Weide (Curb Your Enthusiasm), has added five cast members to join Nick Frost who’s playing the titular Mr. Sloane. Olivia Colman (Broadchurch, Hyde Park On Hudson), Ophelia Lovibond (Mr. Popper’s Penguins), Peter Serafinowicz (The Muppets… Again!) and Lawry Lewin (Horrible Histories) have boarded the bittersweet 1960s-set romantic comedy that centers on Frost’s buttoned-down man in crisis. Shooting is underway in London for a 2014 airdate. Sky Atlantic has been pushing deeper into original series, recently partnersing with Starz on drama Fortitude, with Canal Plus on The Tunnel and with BBC America on biopic Fleming.
A group of actors including Da Vinci’s Demons’ Lara Pulver is joining the cast of Sky Atlantic/BBC America‘s biopic Fleming. The upcoming four-part drama stars Dominic Cooper as James Bond creator-author Ian Fleming and, as I reported last week, also has Annabelle Wallis lined up as Muriel Wright, the original inspiration for the Bond Girl. Sky confirms today that Pulver will play Ann O’Neill, with whom Fleming had a longterm on-off relationship before she became his wife in 1952. She is said to have heavily influenced the writer: a year after they wed, the first 007 book, Casino Royale, was published. Mr Selfridge‘s Samuel West is also aboard as Admiral John Godfrey, with whom Fleming worked during WWII and who put him in charge of Operation Golden Eye. Godfrey is generally accepted to have been the inspiration for the M character in the Bond books. British actress Lesley Manville will play Fleming’s mother Eve and British actor Rupert Evans will play his brother Peter. The Hour‘s Anna Chancellor is taking on the part of Lieutenant Monday, an inspiration for Miss Moneypenny.
Global Showbiz Briefs: NBCU-Lovefilm TV Deal, Ian Fleming Miniseries, Aussie Fracking Doc, Hong Kong Fund
NBCUniversal Inks TV Series Deal With Lovefilm
Amazon’s European service LoveFilm has secured an agreement with NBCUniversal International TV Distribution to deliver audiences on-demand access to hundreds of episodes of iconic American TV. Deal includes recent and library titles including comedies like the U.S. version of The Office starring Steve Carrell and 30 Rock starring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. Deal also includes NBCU science fiction dramas like Heroes as well as David Hasselhoff’s 1980s cult TV classic Knight Rider. Lovefilm’s latest major studio deal follows agreements with ABC, BBC and ITV.