Now, we know this is a crazy and “out there” concept, but what if Victorian monsters were, like, completely real and, like, hung out and stuff?
Yep, somewhere Alan Moore is cursing, because he’s getting knocked off again. This time it’s called Penny Dreadful.
If you’re wondering what Showtime is thinking, The Hollywood Reporter offers a fairly telling quote:
“It’s very realistic, it’s very grounded; the characters are are in very human form in turn of the century London. There will be one central point, but it’s a fairly ensemble series in the way Downton Abbey is an ensemble.”
Basically, it’ll be Downton Abbey with more gore and possibly more boobs.
Among the literary league of monsters mentioned are Dorian Gray, Frankenstein’s monster as well as Frankenstein himself, Van Helsing, and we’re going to guess Henry Jekyll shows up in some form or another. Also the Invisible Man because hey, why not, he’s cheap.
So, who’s behind this? Skyfall writer John Logan and director Sam Mendes, because basically once you achieve some success as a director in Hollywood, your next stop is firing up a television series (see also Bryan Singer, House; McG, Supernatural; and Brett Ratner, Law And Order: Quantum Leap Unit).
If Showtime must do this, we suppose having an Oscar bait director handling things isn’t the worst idea, and Skyfall was at least a really good Bond movie. And done properly, the concept could be really interesting, although honestly, horror is hard to do effectively on television. Also this is premium cable, so Showtime will make with the gore, at least.
That said, it does seem a bit unoriginal, and the concept can go very, very wrong if its mishandled, or the writing team just ignores the books entirely. But we’re assuming they’ve at least seen The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, so hopefully they can avoid that pitfall, at least.