Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At today’s panel on Netflix‘s new original series Hemlock Grove, a Gothic thriller from horrormeister Eli Roth and Gaumont International TV, writer/executive producers Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman, executive producer Mark Verheiden and cast members talked about Roth’s influence on the series, which is based on McGreevy’s novel and revolves around the murder of a young girl found near a steel mill. (Roth did not attend the TCA session as he is shooting a movie in Chile.) The producers on the panel said that emotional violence would be as important as physical violence, a hallmark of Roth’s films. “Eli is a pretty fascinating and multilayered guy, a protégé of David Lynch”, McGreevy said. The writer described himself as a fan of horror genre but said of the series: “This is like Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? with more people getting mauled, actually.” (See the trailer, which debuted today, below.)
That being said, McGreevy said that the content featured in Hemlock Grove would never have fit network TV standards and compared the amount of violence and other content to be on the level of what one would find on premium cable channels Showtime and HBO.
McGreevy also was asked about the differences between working in a new entertainment platform and traditional network and cable TV. He said the deal with Netflix came together shortly after Netflix announced its deal for the original series House Of Cards. “We said, shoot, that’s the future of the medium,” McGreevy said. He did acknowledge that he shopped his novel to the “more conventional premium networks, but we were holding out for Netflix because they were the most exciting partners.
Cast members on the panel were Dougray Scott, Penelope Mitchell, Landon Liboiron, Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgard. The writer-producers said that although the first 13 episodes are based on the novel, they have pitched additional seasons that would expand the story beyond the book. The first 13 episodes of the series debuts April 19.