Skyfall director Sam Mendes unites Dracula and Frankenstein in 'psycho-sexual' TV show

Penny Dreadful will be screened by Showtime, the channel behind Homeland

Sam Mendes is to reunite with his James Bond screen-writer to create a “psychosexual” horror television series, featuring Dracula and Dr Frankenstein, set in Victorian London.

The James Bond director and his Skyfall writing partner John Logan, will assemble literature’s most chilling figures in Penny Dreadful, a new drama series to be screened by Showtime, the US cable channel behind Homeland.

Described as “very psychological and highly erotic”, Penny Dreadful promises to be a horror-flavoured detective drama featuring various fictional characters investigating supernatural events in turn-of-the-century Victorian London.

Mendes will bring his vision to Dr Frankenstein and his creature, characters from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Oscar Wilde’s creation Dorian Gray and possibly Jack the Ripper.

David Nevins, Showtime entertainment president, said: “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 mesmerising to me. This promises to be a wholly original television show.”

The series, produced by Mendes’ Neal Street Productions company, will be filmed in London later this year. The scenario appears similar to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic book series, written by Alan Moore, which featured Dracula and other literary figures from Victorian England.

Nevins said: “It’s very grounded.  This is not Bela Lugosi.  The characters are all in very human form, all existing around the turn of the century London.  It’s very psychological.  I think it’s going to be highly erotic.”

Mr Nevins said there would “probably be one central point-of-view character, a little more than the others, but it’s an ensemble, in the way that Downton Abbey is an ensemble.”

The Showtime executive praised John Logan, who he called “really one of the great writers.  He wrote Skyfall, Gladiator, Hugo and The Aviator.  He’s a very interesting brain, and has written in all sorts of genres.

“He’s going to write every episode of the series, and he has been obsessed with monsters in literature since childhood.  It’s a show that he’s always wanted to do, and I’ve been wooing him to Showtime for a very long time. He presented this to me, and it’s very realistic.”

Mendes is expected to direct episodes written by Logan, with Pippa Harris, who brought the hit BBC1 series Call The Midwife to the screen, producing.

Mr Nevins also suggested that Homeland, which swept the drama categories at the Golden Globes awards, could continue without Damian Lewis’s central role as Brody, the conflicted former US marine.

Asked if he would consider a third series of Homeland without Lewis, Nevins said: “I would have to, yeah.  Everything on that show is vigorously debated, but if, after the end of that vigorous debate, that’s what made sense, story-wise, I could conceivably say yes to that, absolutely.”

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test