The story of Count Dracula is coming to the small screen. NBC has given a 10-episode straight-to-series order to Dracula, with The Tudors‘ Jonathan Rhys Meyers set to play the iconic vampire. The series, from producers Tony Krantz and Colin Callender and writer Cole Haddon, is being produced for both NBC and U.K.’s Sky Living. It was originally bought by NBC in January with a “script-to-series” commitment, meaning that it wouldn’t go through a pilot stage but straight to series if NBC brass liked the script.
Dracula is produced by Krantz’s Flame Ventures, Callender’s Playground Entertainment, Universal TV and NBCU International Prods.’ Carnival Films & Television, the company behind phenom Downton Abbey. Based on an idea by Krantz, it is set in the 1890s and has been described as “Dangerous Liaisons meets The Tudors”, which is fitting given that Tudors star Meyers has been tapped to play the title role. The new series reunites Meyers with NBC topped Bob Greenblatt who cast the Irish actor in The Tudors while running Showtime. As a producer, Greenblatt gave Meyers his first starring role in the CBS telefilm Elvis, which was overseen by Universal TV EVP Bela Bajaria, then head of CBS’ movies and miniseries division.
In the NBC/Sky Living series, Dracula (Meyers) arrives in London, posing as an American entrepreneur who maintains that he wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. In reality, he hopes to wreak revenge on the people who ruined his life centuries earlier but falls hopelessly in love with a woman who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife. “It is a timeless tale with relevant, surprising twists and turns with the exquisite Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the marquee role,” Bajaria said.
Krantz and Callender are executive producing the series with Gareth Neame and Anne Mensah. Haddon and Flame’s Reece Pearson co-executive produce. Dracula employed the same deal model NBC used for another drama project about an iconic villain, Hannibal, which also had a commitment for a script against a series order and went to series. Dracula is the third straight-to-series drama order by NBC in the past few months following the pickups of Hannibal and Neil Cross’ Crossbones.
Vampires have been hot on the big and the small screen lately with the blockbuster Twilight movie franchise and hit series True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. Meyers is with CAA and Brillstein, Haddon is with ICM Partners and Anonymous.
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