Juan Antonio Bayona to Direct Sam Mendes and John Logan’s Showtime Horror Series PENNY DREADFUL

     June 18, 2013

juan antonio bayona penny dreadful

The first television outing for Skyfall duo Sam Mendes and John Logan has roped in even more prestige talent.  The Impossible director Juan Antonio Bayona has been tapped to direct the first two episodes of the new Showtime series Penny Dreadful, which was created, written, and executive produced by Skyfall scribe John Logan and has Sam Mendes onboard as an executive producer.  The incredibly promising “psychosexual horror series” takes place in Victorian London and weaves together the classic origin stories of horror icons like Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Grey, and several characters from the novel Dracula.  Hit the jump for more. 

juan-antonio-bayona-penny-dreadfulLogan will write every episode of the show, and while the initial hope was that Mendes could helm a couple of installments, he is likely knee-deep in development on Bond 24 (which Logan is also writing).  Showtime has ordered an eight-episode first season of Penny Dreadful, with Bayona on tap to direct the first two.  Production will begin in London this fall.  While Bayona made a strong impression with the disaster drama The Impossible last year, he also has experience in the horror genre having helmed the 2007 horror thriller The Orphanage.

Bayona is most certainly a rising talent, having landed on the shortlist of directors for Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  He most recently signed on to direct an untitled sci-fi project for Warner Bros. scripted by Forrest Gump and Munich scribe Eric Roth.  Read the full press release regarding Penny Dreadful below:

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 18, 2013) – Critically-acclaimed, award-winning Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible, The Orphanage) will helm the first two episodes in the eight episode series order of the upcoming SHOWTIME drama PENNY DREADFUL – created, written and executive produced by three-time Oscar®nominee John Logan (Hugo, The Aviator, Gladiator) and executive produced by Oscar winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall) and Neal Street’s Pippa Harris (Revolutionary Road, Call The Midwife)PENNY DREADFUL, a psychosexual horror series, features some of literature’s most iconic figures, and will begin production in London this fall.

In PENNY DREADFUL, some of literature’s most famously terrifying characters – including Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Gray and iconic figures from the novel Dracula – become embroiled in Victorian London.  The series weaves together these classic horror origin stories as the characters grapple with their monstrous alienation. This project marks Logan and Mendes’ second major collaboration, following Skyfall, their box office record-breaking James Bond film, which Mendes directed and Logan co-wrote; and their first ever collaboration for television. The project will be produced by Mendes’ production company Neal Street Productions.

Bayona is an acclaimed and award-winning director, best known for his work on the hugely successful 2007 horror film The Orphanage and the 2012 Oscar-contenderThe Impossible, starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts in her Golden Globe® and Oscar-nominated role.