Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Berlanti Prods.’ ‘The Brides’ Dracula Reimagining Gets ABC Pilot Order

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Adam Shepard

In a competitive situation, ABC has landed The Brides, a hot supernatural drama spec written by Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina developer/executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. The project, from Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, has been picked up to pilot with Maggie Kiley (American Horror Story, Riverdale) set to direct.

The Brides, a sexy contemporary reimagining of Dracula, is a family drama with a trio of powerful female leads at its heart. With strong horror elements, The Brides is a vampire soap about empowered, immortal women and the things they do to maintain wealth, prestige, legacy — and their nontraditional family.

While the focus will be on the women, the character of Dracula is featured in the show, ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said at TCA Tuesday.

This is a new version of The Brides, which Aguirre-Sacasa and Berlanti Prods. originally had in development at NBC during the 2015-16 season with a pilot production commitment. Originally envisioned for the premium marketplace, the new incarnation, written by Aguirre-Sacasa on spec, was to lean stronger into horror and sexuality as it reimagines the classic vampire characters.

The spec was taken out late last year as the producers had already launched a preliminary search for actresses to play the title roles.. It drew interest from multiple broadcast networks, ultimately going to ABC.

Aguirre-Sacasa, Berlanti Prods.’ Berlanti and Sarah Schechter and Kiley executive produce the pilot. The Brides is produced by Berlanti Prods. in association with WBTV and ABC Studios, part of Disney TV Studios.

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Known in popular culture as the Brides of Dracula, the three characters, introduced in Bram Stoker’s classic novel, are portrayed as beautiful and powerful female vampire “sisters” who reside with Count Dracula in his castle in Transylvania where they use their charms to seduce and bewitch men before preying on them. They manage to entrance Van Helsing too before he shakes off their spell and kills them. The characters are a staple in the Dracula mythology and have appeared in many Dracula screen adaptations, headlining the 1960 British movie The Brides Of Dracula.

Aguirre-Sacasa is the key creative force behind Warner Bros. TV’s growing Archie comics-based TV universe. He has developed/co-developed and executive produces Riverdale, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Katy Keene — all produced by Berlanti Prods. Additionally, HBO Max recently ordered a pilot and an additional script for The Shelley Society, a mash-up of gothic horror and teen romance featuring young Mary Shelley, which Aguirre-Sacasa co-created with Riverdale writers Tessa Leigh Williams and James DeWille.

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