Get a look at Showtime’s upcoming series featuring legendary literary beings like Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and Dracula.
By Katrina Hill
Showtime has gathered up a superb group of actors, directors, and writers to bring to life a new series mixing all kinds of iconic old-school horror creatures in “Penny Dreadful.” The series’ name may strike you as odd, but it refers back to old British publications featuring garish horror serial stories that would only cost – you guessed it! – one penny. While this phrase may have originally represented a form of cheap entertainment, but “Penny Dreadful” is no such thing.
MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD
There will be blood flowing down the aisles in theaters soon thanks to Eva Green’s menacing turn as the ass-kicking Artemisia in 300: Rise of an Empire; and for fans of the French-born beauty, they’ll get a chance to see even more red come May in her hotly anticipated Showtime horror thriller Penny Dreadful.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Green told me that, while the trailer for the series released last month promises a bloody affair, there’s much more to the show than the clip is letting on.
“The trailer for Penny Dreadful has to have an impact straight-away, so there’s sex and blood in it,” Green told me. “It’s definitely bloody, but there’s also a lot of complex psychology involved with all the characters.”
Created by Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan, Penny Dreadful is set in the Victorian Era, where such literary icons as Dr. Frankenstein, his monster, Dracula and Oscar Wilde’s age-defying creation Dorian Gray are all woven into a new narrative.
Green plays London psychic Vanessa Ives, who invites the likes of Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) and Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) to “a shadow world full of sex, drugs and monsters of all sorts,” Showtime says.
“All the characters have secrets that make them special and alienate them from society,” Green said. “The show asks the question, ‘Do you want to be normal or not?’”
Penny Dreadful premieres on Showtime May 11. In the meantime, fans will get more than their fill of the gushing red stuff in 300: Rise of an Empire, Green says.
“There’s lots of blood and lots of dead people,” Green says, laughing.
The film, which tells a story parallel to the perilous journey of the 300 Spartans in the 2006 original starring Gerard Butler, opens in theaters and on IMAX screens Friday.
Green is also reteaming with 300 creator Frank Miller when she stars as the “dame” Ava Lord in “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” due in theaters Aug. 22.
On her first day on the set of 300: Rise of an Empire, actress Lena Headey knocked on the dressing room door of co-star Eva Green, who had been working on the action film for several weeks.
“I wanted to thank her, she did such a good job holding this down on the female front,” Headey recalls. “She’s a real bad-ass.”
Look out, Greek men. Things have changed in the stylized sword franchise made instantly popular with Zack Snyder’s 300 in 2007.
The original 300 was a showcase for impressively pumped-up male actors including Gerard Butler and Michael Fassbender. But the women are stepping up in the sequel 300: Rise of an Empire (opening Friday).
Game of Thrones star Headey returns as the Spartan Queen Gorgo. But mainly it’s Green’s Artemisia, the revenge-obsessed head of the Persian Navy, who truly steps to the fore with an unquenchable bloodlust — and some show-stopping outfits.
The outfits go from the formidable to the downright scary, including a vest made of human hair (with matching hair wrist bands). “Some of these outfits are bonkers,” says Green. “I love them.”
By Dave McNary
Magnolia Pictures has acquired the North American distribution rights to the Shailene Woodley-starrer “White Bird in a Blizzard” and plans a theatrical release for later this year.
Gregg Araki directed from his own script, based on Laura Kasischke’s novel. The drama also stars Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, Thomas Jane and Angela Bassett.
The film was produced by Pascal Caucheteux, Sebastien K. Lemercier, Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Pavlina Hatoupis and Gregg Araki. Why Not Productions, Desperate Pictures, Orange Studio and Wild Bunch are the production companies on board.
Woodley stars as a college-bound teenager who is just discovering her sexuality when her mother (Green) disappears — an event that barely registers with Woodley’s character. But as time passes, she begins to come to grips with how deeply the disappearance has affected her life.
“White Bird” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in late January. Variety‘s Peter Debruge gave the film a mixed review, calling it “naughty, campy and wildly uneven.”
The deal was negotiated for Magnolia by Dori Begley and Peter Van Steemburg with CAA and Wild Bunch on behalf of the filmmakers.
Thanks to Spot and Sebastian for the videos and Sebastian for the new screencaps.
Thanks to Joy, Eva’s twin sister, (and Eva herself, of course) we can announce you that Ms Green thinks that “we rock!” and that she “finds the website fabulous”. We’ll soon have a surprise for our fans.