NBC Orders ‘Dracula’ Drama With Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Published 3 years ago by

Jonathan Rhys Meyers Dracula NBC NBC Orders Dracula Drama With Jonathan Rhys Meyers

If anyone was hoping for a brief moratorium on vampire-based films and television series, they’ll have to hold out just a little bit longer. NBC has recently announced it will be adding to the seemingly endless list of bloodsuckers looking for screen time by bringing Dracula to the network in the form of actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

During the network’s presentation at TCA 2012, NBC president Robert Greenblatt introduced the crowd to what he called “a new version of the classic Bram Stoker” legend. The project, cooked up as a co-production between NBC Universal and British Sky Broadcasting, plans to introduce a unique aspect to the familiar character that could provide for some interesting storytelling.


To start off the announcement, Greenblatt said, “In the world of Twilight and True Blood and all the contemporized stories, we thought we’d go back to the original.” 

And in doing so, Dracula will take place in 1890s London where the vampire has assumed the identity of an American entrepreneur with aspirations of bringing modern science and technology to Victorian society. This is all a ruse, however, as Dracula’s true endeavor is the pursuit of revenge against humankind after it nearly destroyed him centuries earlier. Since Dracula is a vampire, the most popular of which are really just toothy, lovelorn romantics, the only thing that may spoil his plans for vengeance is the comely young lass he’s recently fallen in love with – who may also be the reincarnation of his dead wife.

The description immediately brings to mind visions of steam punk-y mechanisms and their effect on a society perhaps ill equipped to handle a rapid infusion of technology to people’s lives, but how much of that will be the focus of the series remains to be seen. Moreover, the brief overview offers no mention of other characters from Stoker’s novel, so it will be interesting to see if they also make the transition, or if this series will start from scratch in terms of supporting characters.

Dracula will be produced by former 24 producer Tony Krantz, Collin Callender (the former president of HBO Films), Anne Mensah, Reece Pearson and Downton Abbey producer Gareth Neame. Meanwhile, creator and relative newcomer Cole Haddon will serve as writer and co-executive producer.

Lugosi Dracula NBC Orders Dracula Drama With Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Like Bryan Fuller’s upcoming Hannibal, Dracula skipped the pilot stage altogether and moved directly to series. The fact that this is a co-production involving international companies likely had more to do with that than some fervent need to get the program started right away. Additionally, like Hannibal, Dracula will consist of a 10-episode season, which for a broadcast network like NBC would have been something quite rare just a few years ago, but has becoming more commonplace as of late. The shorter season recelty used with the metaphysical Jason Isaacs series Awake – though its first (and only) season ran for a total of 13 episodes, not just 10.

Perhaps the tendency toward the cable-sized seasons comes from Greenblatt’s tenure at Showtime – during which, coincidentally, Rhys Meyers was appearing on the network as King Henry VIII in The Tudors. So, if Hannibal and Dracula prove successful, they may pave the way for more short seasons of multiple series, similar to what is seen on basic and premium cable networks.

As for the fanged one, Dracula has apparently become a hot property once more. Other Dracula projects in the works include Eli Roth’s Harker, Neil Marshall’s The Last Voyage of the Demeter and the Vlad Dracula series, which writer J. Michael Straczynski recently lined up at Starz. The Starz series would see the character taken all the way back to the 15th century, before he was a vampire.


Screen Rant will post more news and casting announcements regarding Dracula as they are made available.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

TAGS: Dracula
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  1. A sympathetic Dracula? Intresting. Tell me more.

    • As vindictive and evil as Stoker’s Dracula was, there still remained something entirely human and sympathetic in his character. His time of glory and power had long passed, leaving him largely insignificant in the growing world. He saw the world passing him by and “long[ed]…to be in the midst of the whirl and rush of humanity, to share its life, its change, its death, and all that makes it what it is.” Obviously Dracula’s diabolical behavior is not something anyone should emulate (were it humanly possible), but I think most people would understand what motivated him, the desire to lift oneself out of obscurity, to redeem the failures of the past and to recreate the ‘glory days.’

      I think NBC has more than enough to build on with the source material to create a sympathetic, complex and frightening protagonist. I just hope they realize that Stoker’s Dracula, as man and monster, puts Twilight vamps and their angst ridden cohorts to shame. If they turn Dracula into a centuries old pasty emo wimp crying over teenage insecurities, they’ll have completely missed the mark (and destroyed a piece of classic literature in the process).

  2. Jonathan Rhys Meyers took on the impossible task of playing “The King”
    and for that alone I have always looked out for what he does next.
    He was great in The Tudors and should deliver for this Dracula.
    Dracula is the only vampire legend I have time for anyway.

    • I could not have expressed my appreciation for Jonathan Rhys Meyers better than Mr. Palmer. Rhys Meyers was fabulous as King Henry VIII in The Tudors, and, I as well have been eagerly waiting to see what he does next. He is a naturally gifted actor. A. Tuber

  3. I’m all for the trend of quality not quantity on TV. I know it goes against everything advertisers want but I’m all for it.

  4. Jonathan Rhys Meyers + Dracula? Yeah I’m in…. for now.

  5. I wish I could say I am behind this, as I like “historical period horror”, but I am pretty reluctant to watch this. I don’t know enough about this new series to make a real informed opinion at this point, but another web-blog referred to this as a sexy new series. Well, sorry, but sex and horror don’t mix, at least in my book. It isn’t about looking studley and scary, so if this is gonna be another beef-cake thing or Twilight-ish, True Blood-ish thing, forget it. Need more info to prove this is worth watching.

  6. Tudors was one of my favorite shows, i cant wait to see him. Im also a dude.

  7. Sounds suspiciously like the plot of the Anno Dracula series by Kim Newman. I’ll probably pass on this. Not interested in seeing JRM take on this character. I’m done with Hollywoods fascination with “sexy” vampires

    • Seriously? They’ve released maybe three sentences about the plot of this show and you’re saying that it reminds you of another author’s work? All we know is that the show takes place in 1890 and that Dracula falls in love with a woman who reminds him of his dead wife while plotting to destroy mankind via science/technology. Where from that do you draw the parallel with Anno Dracula? Anno Dracula took place in an alternative history where Dracula killed van Helsing and married Queen Victoria, thus leading to the steady demise of humankind and the increase of the vampire population. Dracula wasn’t even the series’ protagonist; he was a central, but absent, character present for only a few pages in each book. Good grief, the first book revolves around Jack the Ripper’s killing spree against vampire prostitutes. The only similarities between the extremely brief plot summary of the show and Anno Dracula are 1. there’s a vampire named Dracula, 2. the story takes place in Victorian England.

      NBC claims it wants to go back to the original vampire story. Maybe it’ll actually succeed. Frankly, the world needs to be reminded that vampires do not sparkle. I for one would rather keep my fingers crossed and see what happens before denouncing the venture as a failure.

  8. Returning the story back to the latter part of the 19th century is a good start, as I loved the original novel. I absolutely despise the Twilight garbage, so I really hope they don’t go that route. I will check this out, but I am cautiously optimistic…

  9. It would seem NBC is attempting to reinvent itself as a “dark, gritty” network. Best of luck to them. Unfortunately, they’ve proven themselves too cancel-happy for me to invest time in their programming. Maybe I’ll check the shows out after their first season run.

    Now if they’d just find a way to make science fiction for their SyFy network.

    • Awake was the only show on NBC I watched and a favorite of mine.
      Of course they killed it. It is hard to have any faith NBC will stay
      with anything even it if is good. If Dracula is good, good luck.

      • Awake was too smart for NBC.

  10. Wonderful….I can’t wait.

  11. I don’t know if i can do any more vampire shows. I’m pretty much vampired out but for some reason zombies never get old.

  12. Nbc is pretty desperate to get more new shows pretty sure only one of the new shows is gonna make it past season 1

  13. I’ll watch simply for Rhys-Meyers, he was fantastic in The Tudors.

    I can’t stand these 10 episode seasons, I wish seasons were still early September to late May with a 2 week break around Christmas/New Years.

  14. it will be interesting to see if they also make the transition, or if this series.

  15. So if Dracula is pretending to be an American to disguise himself I would guess he won’t be called Dracula in the show (at least as far as how other characters know him). And you have to love Hollywood magic, a British actor playing a Romanian vampire pretending to be American while living in London.

    • Good catch…

    • the actor you’re referring to is Irish…

    • Could not agree more :)

  16. How good could it be on network tv. Too bad it’s not HBO or Showtime.

  17. I love the series but I don’t think the Dracula character has any depth. Isn’t he supposed to be madly in love with Mina? In episode 3 when they were on the balcony Dracula could have had a tender moment w/the woman he loves but his voice never changed to show any tenderness at all towards her. He seems bland and empty. His performance as Dracula is disappointing. He needs to act.
    I think the Dracula character seems to not be a good actor when I know he is; he just needs to make the audience want to like him & want him to succeed. No?

  18. BTW: The violence level is on par with “Sons of Anarchy” of which I stopped watching regularly as it became too much. I would hope young people under 18 are not watching these shows as I think they are too violent. I read Phil Mushnick’s opinion piece in the New York Post, Sunday, Nov. 10,2013 and he was spot on about young men on the brink and the violence level in our society. It is a must read .

  19. I’ve heard you taking the show off the air because of a bunch of mothers that don’t want their kids to see it. Well you know there are millions of us adults out her without kids. Can they not take responsibility and block the show themselves. I’m really tired of not being able to watch shows that are for adults that are different then the same old things all the time because of “Christian mothers that are to lazy to do the job of monitoring their own kids its really BS and the networks need to stop bowing down to them. Dracula is a good show with good actors. Shame on you for not thinking about All of us!! The Kids should be in bed.

    • I do NOT have children under 18. I live near a big city where young men are violent. They murder each other & innocent people in very brutal ways. Don’t you understand that our society today has so much violence that under 18 are exposed to not just violence on TV but in video games that many youths seem to NOT understand nor care what reality is and that life is precious? I am NOT asking as a Christian for TV to stop violence. The violence level on Dracula is torturous at time? Did you like the scene where Renfield is being tortured? Did you think it went a bit too far? I think it did. We got the point early on in the torture scene that to just keep showing MORE ways in which to torture are kind of over the line? Perhaps that scene was to make you HATE the woman torturer you were applauding when Dracula came to rescue his loyal companion. Dare I ask if you are someone who is against our military torturing the enemy (REAL LIFE TERRORISTS) for information? Did you protest torture during the BUSH administration? Well, think about your views now IF you are against torture? Why give our youth ideas? There used to be ratings? Where are those now? I think the media loves to push violence on our youth; it is harmful to many of them (who probably are watching). That’s my opinion, I have one just like everyone else including you. BTTW: I don’t know ONE family who blocks any TV from their kids.