“Penny Dreadful,” Showtime’s upcoming “psychosexual horror series” executive produced by Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”) has snagged an impressive director for its first two episodes. Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona (“The Impossible”) will helm the first two of the eight installments in the season, which will begin shooting in London in the fall.
Created, written and executive produced by John Logan (“Hugo,” “Skyfall,” “Noah”), “Penny Dreadful” weaves together the origin stories of three iconic literary characters — Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, Dorian Gray and figures from “Dracula” — in Victorian London. The series will be Logan and Mendes’ first collaboration for the small screen (Mendes EP’d “The Hollow Crown,” a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Henriad,” for BBC last year). It will be produced by Mendes’ Neal Street Productions.
While disaster film “The Impossible” was certainly wrenching, Bayona also has experience directing literary-inflected horror — his 2007 film “The Orphanage” wove together a haunted house story with callouts to “Peter Pan.”