BSkyB’s Sky Atlantic has signed on to co-produce Showtime’s upcoming 8 episode drama Penny Dreadful and will air the series in the UK. In addition it has also been announced that Billie Piper (Doctor Who) has joined the cast of the series. She will play Brona Croft, an Irish immigrant in Victorian London trying to escape a dark past
Created by John Logan, Penny Dreadful will see 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. The series is produced by Neal Street Productions and stars Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Billie Piper, Rory Kinnear, Reeve Carney and Harry Treadaway. The executive producers are John Logan and Sam Mendes. While Juan Antonio Bayona is on board to direct the opening block of episodes.
The news comes at a time when – not only at the satcaster, but industry wide – co-productions are on the rise. BSkyB has a number of other co-productions on its drama slate including the Sky1 action series Strike Back, which is co-produced by HBO’s sister network Cinemax; Sky Atlantic’s upcoming adaptation of Scandinavian series The Bridge titled The Tunnel, which is co-produced by French premium broadcaster Canal+; Sky Living’s Dracula, which is co-produced by NBC; and Sky Atlantic’s more recent commission Fortitude, which is being co-produced by Starz.
“I’m thrilled to be bringing Penny Dreadful to life here in the UK, where the show is set and was conceived over many years of wandering the streets of London”, said John Logan. “I think the talent we are bringing together for the show promises to create something memorable.”
Anne Mensah, Sky’s Head of Drama, commented: “I could not be more excited to be bringing Penny Dreadful to Sky’s customers. We’re thrilled to be working with John Logan and Sam Mendes on what will be a stunning, mesmerising and terrifying series on a cinematic scale – all of which makes it perfect for Sky Atlantic.”
While David Nevins, President of Entertainment for Showtime Networks, added: “John Logan and Sam Mendes are two of the great storytellers of our time. 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.”