Netflix and the BBC's Dracula has revealed its official cast and directors, as production continues on the series. The latest in a long line of shows and movies based on Bram Stoker's vampire classic hales from Sherlock creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. Much like their work on the famous Sherlock Holmes re-imagining, the show's first season will be composed of three 90-minute episodes, all of which are written and produced by Gatiss and Moffat.
Plot details are being kept under wraps, but the writers-producers' intention is to "reinvent" Dracula for modern audiences, much like they did with Sherlock Holmes. Unlike Sherlock, however, their take on Stoker's novel will be a period piece and pick up in Transylvania, 1897, as the blood-thirsting Count Dracula plots against the people of Victorian-era London. The handsome blood-sucker himself is being played by Claes Bang, whose previous work includes roles in films like The Square and The Girl in the Spider's Web. With shooting already well underway, the entirety of the TV show's ensemble has now been unveiled.
According to Variety, the Dracula cast has officially added Jonathan Aris (The Night Manager), Sacha Dhawan (Iron Fist), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Misfits), and Catherine Schell (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) to its ranks. They join a cast that already includes Morfydd Clark (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Youssef Kerkour (Jack Ryan), Clive Russell (Game of Thrones), Joanna Scanlan (Getting On), Veronica Stanwell (The Grand Wedding of Royals), and Gatiss, in addition to Bang.
Perhaps the most noteworthy addition to the Dracula cast is Hungarian screen icon Schell, who hasn't acted on television since the mid-1990s. She isn't the only iconic element of the show, either, as production is currently underway at England's Bray Studios. The location was once owned by Hammer Films and housed the sound stages used in horror classics like Horror of Dracula (where Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing faced off as Count Dracula and Dr. Van Helsing, respectively). Helmsman Jonny Campbell (Westworld) will be bringing the series' set pieces to life in the first episode, followed by director Damon Thomas (Killing Eve) and Sherlock veteran Paul McGuigan in the second and third installments.
It'll be interesting to see how Dracula goes over in comparison to Sherlock, given the series' shared talent behind the scenes. The former was incredibly beloved and popular early on, but struggled to regain its momentum on either front in later seasons. Much like Moffat's run on Doctor Who, the TV series eventually suffered from diminished viewership and was criticized for being obsessed with its own presumed cleverness. Dracula doesn't lend itself to convoluted storytelling as easily as those shows did, but there's a mystery aspect to its mythos that may or may not play to Moffat and Gatiss' strengths as writers.
Dracula will air on BBC One in the UK and Ireland before it becomes available for streaming through Netflix in the U.S. and worldwide, in either late 2019 or early 2020.