Timothy Dalton Cast on Showtime’s ‘Penny Dreadful’
By Tim Molloy
Star and the show’s creators share a special Bond
Timothy Dalton has been cast on Showtime’s upcoming horror series “Penny Dreadful.”
Dalton shares a unique Bond with show creators John Logan and Sam Mendes: He played agent 007 in “The Living Daylights” and “License to Kill,” and they worked together on “Skyfall.”
Dalton is set to play “Sir Malcolm,” a hardened African explorer on a deeply personal quest. He joins previously announced stars Josh Hartnett and Eva Green, who has yet another Bond connection: She played Vesper Lind in “Casino Royale.”
“Penny Dreadful” is created, written and executive produced by Logan, Mendes and Pippa Harris. Two of the first eight episodes will be directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, who helmed “The Orphanage” and “The Impossible.”
It is set to begin filming this fall for a 2014 premiere.
‘Skyfall’ Creators to Shoot ‘Penny Dreadful’ in Ardmore Studios, Starring Josh Hartnett & Eva Green
By Kevin Cronin
‘Penny Dreadful’, a new Showtime TV series from ‘Skyfall’ creators John Logan and Sam Mendes, will be filmed in Ardmore Studios from 7th October to March 2014 – IFTN can exclusively reveal.
The series was widely reported to shoot in London in the second half of 2013 but a source in Mendes’ production company Neal Street Productions confirmed to IFTN that filming will now take place in Ardmore Studios and locations around Dublin.
This is not the first time Ireland has been used to double for Victorian-era London, with ‘Ripper Street’ successfully managing just such a feat.
Hollywood actors Josh Hartnett and Eva Green will star in the eight-part series, which will focus on some of horror literature’s most famous characters and their origin stories – including Dr Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Gray and characters from Dracula.
‘Penny Dreadful’ marks the second major collaboration between Logan and Mendes, co-writer and director of ‘Skyfall’ respectively, and their first for TV.
Mendes, winner of the Best Director Oscar for ‘American Beauty’, will executive produce the show along with Neal Street Productions’ Pippa Harris, with whom he previously worked on ‘Revolutionary Road’.
John Logan, creator and writer of ‘Penny Dreadful‘, has been nominated for three Oscars for his writing work on ‘Gladiator’ and Martin Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’ and ‘The Aviator’.
President of Showtime David Nevins said of the series announcement: ‘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.’
‘The Tudors’, another hugely successful Showtime series and winner of 16 IFTA awards, was also filmed at Ardmore Studios.
Sam Mendes also recently confirmed that he will return to direct Bond for the 24th film in the series, again to be scripted by John Logan, for release in 2015.
Thanks to Antigonus for the link and for the following comment: “This is the third feature Ms Green has shot in Ardmore Studios, Wicklow, after ‘Cracks’ and ‘Camelot’. I had thought the more decayed parts of Georgian Dublin, both north of the Liffey, and down Thomas Street, would suit ‘Penny Dreadful’. Also likely to be considerably cheaper.”
Eva Green to star as a gothic horror vamp in a very adult new TV drama
By Baz Bamigboye
Eva Green will play a troubled soul at the heart of a psycho-sexual drama series that may be too ‘adult’ for a mainstream British television channel.
The actress, who stars in Casino Royale and in forthcoming blockbusters Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, and 300: Rise Of An Empire, is the leading lady in Penny Dreadful, a Gothic TV drama from the pen of John Logan, who wrote Gladiator and Skyfall.
Penny Dreadful is set in London in 1891 and focuses on supernatural characters — Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde — who link up with Eva’s character Vanessa Ives.
Logan said that because so much of the series is built around a female protagonist and set against a perception of repression in Victorian society, ‘we have a fair amount of frank sex’.
‘To be sexually empowered was outlaw behaviour in Victorian England,’ he added.
Josh Hartnett plays Ethan Edwards — the sole American in the series, who is named after John Wayne’s character in The Searchers.
‘He’s been touring with a Wild West show but quickly leaves that and becomes embroiled with Vanessa and the other characters,’ Logan said.
Once Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris from Neal Street Productions and the American Showtime channel linked up with Logan, the writer started walking through London’s Victorian haunts like ShadThames and Highgate Cemetery to get a feel for the city of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson and Oscar Wilde (whose The Picture Of Dorian Gray was also an influence).
Logan, who will also executive produce the series with Mendes and Harris, said he hoped the show would make viewers jump out of their skin. ‘We’re going to go “Boo!” in a way we hope people haven’t experienced.’
But he said he wanted to look beyond the horror of supernatural creatures. ‘I think the reason people remember Frankenstein’s creature is not because of the monster’s make-up; it’s because there’s so much heartbreak behind his eyes, real pathos,’ he mused.
The writer also suggested one of the reasons we still read the Dracula and Frankenstein novels is because we identify with the misshapen creatures.
‘That goes to the heart of Penny Dreadful. The creatures all feel alienated, and they all want a mate,’ Logan told me, as we sipped ice-cold drinks at the Covent Garden Hotel.
He cited Mary Shelley’s physical and psychological state when she wrote Frankenstein. She’d had a miscarriage and was ‘dealing with the issues of being a woman, a mother, burying her child, and what her body was doing’.
‘All those stories are ripe with sexual connections,’ he said. ‘Certainly Dorian Gray is. In 2013 we can dramatise them. If the character is motivated by desire, whether it’s violent, sexual, erotic or romantic, then we can dramatise it.’
Shooting begins in October on locations in the UK. The programme will be shown in Britain but may be too adult for mainstream ITV and BBC channels. Maybe it will find a home on cable or satellite channels, as it has in the U.S. on Showtime.
There are five other main characters still to be contracted.
One thing’s for sure: it will look extraordinary. Jonathan McKinstry, who worked on Kenneth Branagh’s Frankenstein film and TV’s The Borgias, will be production designer. And Oscar-winning Gabriella Pescucci will design the costumes.
Chris Meloni talks about his co-star Eva Green
Thanks to Ashley for the heads-up.
Perhaps you get to do a bit of both in the Sin City sequel, A Dame to Kill For.
I’m an upright dude trying to do right, but then Eva Green’s seductive powers are too much for me to resist.
She just wants you to save her from her abusive billionaire husband.
Please. She’s a femme fatale. Don’t take her side in this. She’s evil. [Laughs.] And it’s the second time that Eva Green and I have gotten together. We also did White Bird in a Blizzard, the Gregg Araki film. In White Bird in a Blizzard, we’re married, and in A Dame to Kill For, we’re not, but we have more sex in A Dame to Kill For. And Eva, she’s beyond cool. She is the bomb. She was such a pleasure to work with. She just really connects to the decisions we’ve made and commits to them. So great, so much fun.