Netflix has announced that Famke Janson (X-Men) and Bill Skarsgard have been cast in the lead roles of Eli Roth's upcoming horror series Hemlock Grove.
The Netflix series is based on Brian McGreevy’s upcoming gothic horror novel of the same name, which will be released on March 27th. The story is set against the “backdrop of our darkest myths, adolescent deceptions, ravenous relationships and rumors of a werewolf, the series re-imagines everything it means to be a monster as reflected in the struggle to be human.”
Here's a synopsis:
Hemlock Grove starts with the body of a young girl, mangled and murdered in the shadow of the former Godfrey steel mill. Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a biotech facility owned by the former steel magnates. Others believe the killer could be Peter, a 17-year-old Gypsy kid from the wrong side of the tracks, who tells his classmates he's a werewolf. Or it could be Roman (Skarsgard), the arrogant Godfrey scion, whose sister Shelley is disturbingly deformed and whose mother, Olivia (Janssen), the otherworldly beautiful and controlling grand dame of Hemlock Grove. As the crime goes unsolved and outlandish rumors mount, Peter and Roman decide to find the killer themselves, confronting unspeakable truths about themselves and Hemlock Grove as the mystery unfolds.
As a fan of horror and supernatual stories, I'm excited about this. It sounds like it could be great series worth watching. It actually sounds better than anything else that Eli Roth has worked on.
McGreevy and his writing partner Lee Shipman are adapting the book and co-writing the screenplay. The duo is also writting a reimagining of Bram Stoker’s Dracula for Warner Bros, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way.
Here's the full press release with more details:
"Hemlock Grove," a gripping tale of murder, mystery and monsters set in a ravaged Pennsylvania steel town, starring Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgard and produced by Gaumont International Television, will be available for Netflix members to watch instantly, beginning early in 2013.
"Eli Roth is a master of this genre and Brian McGreevy's brilliant novel gives Roth a world where he can create his magic," said Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer. "'Hemlock Grove' is a sly blend of J.D. Salinger and Mary Shelley and will appeal to a broad base of fans captivated by these rich characters and stunning visuals."
"I've been waiting for years to dive into television, and Eric Newman and I founded Arcade to do elevated genre projects exactly like 'Hemlock Grove.' Brian McGreevy's novel blew me away, and the material lends itself perfectly to long format storytelling. 'Hemlock Grove' is smart, dark, complex, and at times terrifying," said Eli Roth.
He added: "What's most exciting to me is creating the series for Netflix, which as a feature filmmaker is like telling a story in a new medium. Netflix as a platform is the perfect hybrid of cinema, television, and social networking, with the creative freedom to go as dark as the story needs."
The 13 episode first season of "Hemlock Grove" is Roth's first foray into serialized drama as a director and executive producer. "Hemlock Grove" is executive produced and written by McGreevy, author of the FSG Originals novel, and Lee Shipman. Also executive producing are Eric Newman, Michael Connolly and Mark Verheiden.
"It is an honor to be working with Eli Roth, a director whom I've admired for years, along with Brian McGreevy & Lee Shipman and the team at Netflix on this series," commented Gaumont International Television chief executive officer Katie O'Connell. "Netflix is the perfect platform for this exhilarating reinvention of the gothic mystery story. From day one, our mandate at Gaumont International Television has been to the produce high-quality drama programming for the U.S. and international markets and 'Hemlock Grove' certainly fits the bill."