In what is easily the best news we’ve heard all damned day, Deadline has learned that Daniel Knauf, creator of the HBO series “Carnivale,” has joined NBC’s upcoming 10-episode series “Dracula” as showrunner/head writer, working with series creator Cole Haddon.
NBC’s “Dracula” will feature Jonathan Rhys Meyers (“The Tudors”, Shelter, Velvet Goldmine) as the iconic vampire. The series, from producers Tony Krantz and Colin Callender and writer Cole Haddon, is being produced for both NBC and the UK’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 “Downton Abbey”. Krantz and Callender are executive producing the series with Gareth Neame and Anne Mensah. Haddon and Flame’s Reece Pearson co-executive produce. 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’s 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.
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