NBC’s new drama Hannibal has been given a premiere date, April 4, Thursday 10 PM. Between now and April 4, NBC will air Law & Order: SVU repeats in the hour. Hannibal, from Bryan Fuller, Martha DeLaurentiis and Gaumont International TV, stars Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy. The project is described as a contemporary thriller featuring the classic characters from Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon – FBI agent Will Graham (Dancy) and his mentor Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mikkelsen) — who are re-introduced at the beginning of their budding relationship.
After bringing Hannibal to television with an upcoming NBC series, Gaumont International Television and producer Martha De Laurentiis are looking to do the same for another iconic character, Barbarella. GIT, the U.S.-based production and distribution arm of European feature studio Gaumont, is teaming with De Laurentiis and Drive director Nicolas Refn for a TV series that will be based on the character created by Jean-Claude Forest in a graphic novel and made famous in the 1968 sci-fi movie staring Jane Fonda as a sexpot tasked with finding and stopping the evil weapons inventor. Refn will direct and executive produce the series alongside De Laurentiis, whose late husband Dino produced the 1968 movie.
Refn called Barbarella “one of the ultimate counter-cultural characters.” Added GIT CEO Katie O’Connell, “We are thrilled to have secured the rights from the Forest estate and are thrilled to be pairing the bold visceral style of Nicolas Refn with the pop culture icon Barbarella.” In addition to Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal starring Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, GIT also is producing the upcoming Eli Roth series Hemlock Grove starring Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgard for Netflix. Gaumont is producing two of Refn’s next feature films, including Only God Forgives starring Ryan Gosling. Dino and Martha De Laurentiis originally acquired film rights to Barbarella in 2007. Dino was working on a feature Barbarella remake before his 2010 death; the project attracted a slew of directors and young actress but ultimately didn’t take flight.
Normally this kind of thing would make me groan, however I love Refn’s movies, Drive was a highlight of 2011, so… this could be good.
NBC is giving the classic vampire tale of Count Dracula a contemporary spin. The network has teamed with producers Tony Krantz and Colin Callender and writer Cole Haddon for a Dracula series eyed for both the U.S. and international marketplace. The project, developed for NBC and NBCU’s international channels, has a “script-to-series” commitment, meaning that it won’t go through a pilot stage but straight to series if NBC brass like the script, which is currently being written by Haddon. Set in the 1890s, it is described as “Dangerous Liaisons meets The Tudors” and as a big, sweeping international soap opera that is young, sexy and supernatural. Frequent collaborators Krantz and Callender are executive producing, with Flame’s Reece Pearson co-executive producing.
In the deal for Dracula, NBC employed the same model it is using for another drama project about an iconic villain, Hannibal. That project, written by Bryan Fuller and produced by Gaumont International Television, also has a commitment for a script against 13-episode order. Both shows have pre-sold titles, along with Fuller’s Munsters reboot, which was recently picked up to pilot by NBC. Vampires have been hot on the big and the small screen lately with the blockbuster Twilight movie franchise and hit series True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. In addition to Dracula, TV producer/feature director Kratz and former HBO executive-turned-producer Callender have another drama project at NBC and Universal TV, The Fixer, based on the life of top New York attorney Edward Hayes.
Cole Haddon has experience with rebooting classic dark characters. His feature script Hyde, about an allegedly rehabilitated Dr. Jekyll, landed on the 2010 Black List. The project is being developed by Dark Horse Entertainment, Mark Gordon Prods. and Skydance Prods.
Bryan Fuller may have two series on NBC; the man behing ‘Pushing Daisies’ is behind two high-profile projects, The Munsters and Hannibal, both of them on a script-to-series track. Fuller originally developed a reboot of the 1960s comedy series The Munsters last season and his was one of very few scripts new NBC chief Bob Greenblatt kept in play when he took over the network in January. Greenblatt rolled the project to get it redeveloped by his team. Fuller’s new outline submitted in September was received well (it was the talk of NBC’s pre-Emmy party), and his draft was just delivered last Friday.
Word is that NBC, which may pull the trigger on a series order as early as this week, envisions the new Munsters as a potential summer or event series. Like Fuller’s previous series, Pushing Daisies, the project features striking visuals mixed with all the classic Munsters archetypes. Grandpa Sam Dracula is essentially Dracula who assembled Herman because no man was good enought for his daughter Lily, a sexy vamp. Lily’s niece Marilyn the freak is actually normal and Lily and Herman’s only child, Eddie, has his werewolf tendencies surface in puberty, forcing the family to relocate to their famous 1313 Mockingbird Lane address.
Separately, Fuller is writing Hannibal, a drama series for Gaumont International Television and producer Martha De Laurentiis, which NBC just bought preemptively. Fuller is writing the script about based on the iconic literary and film character Hannibal Lecter against a 13-episode commitment, meaning that the script will trigger a 13-episode series if NBC likes it. (NBC has a short window to decide upon receiving the draft, with a potential release triggering a penalty.) I hear the network first got interested in the project when Fuller mentioned it casually to the network’s new entertainment president Jennifer Salke over drinks. A well-known foodie as evidenced by Pushing Daisies, apparently Fuller was attracted to the dark, sick side of Hannibal, who tends to feast on his victims.