Good Idea/Bad Idea: A ‘Dracula’ TV Show Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers?
NBC has just ordered a new show based on ‘Dracula’ starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Would you watch it?
First, the King of England; now, the most notorious vampire of them all? Apparently!
According to the Hollywood Reporter, NBC has ordered 10 episodes of a new television series based on Dracula starring The Tudors‘ Jonathan Rhys Meyers. So: Good idea? Or not so good idea?
NBC Entertainment president Robert Greenblatt has said that their Dracula will be “a new version of the classic Bram Stoker tale.” The series, which somehow managed to bypass the whole rigmarole of shooting a pilot and then waiting to be picked up, will take place in the 1890s: Drac is living a double life in London as an American businessman intent on bringing modern science to Victorian society—and a vicious bloodsucker whose hidden agenda involves getting revenge on those who wronged him centuries ago (the details on who this is and exactly what the wrongdoing was are still being kept under wraps).
Personally, I’m a little torn. Part of me thinks, “Cool!”… But at the same time, I also can’t help but think that these days, all the entertainment industry does is rehash ideas that other people have already come up with—and not always terribly well. Last year, it was fairytales, with Once Upon a Time and Grimm; this year, it’s Victorian literature, with Dracula and the upcoming Sherlock Holmes show Elementary. Though both Once Upon a Time and Grimm have been fairly popular, they’ve certainly got their flaws, which they arguably haven’t quite been able to rise above. The only “new take on xyz” show I can think of that’s really worked in recent memory is the BBC’s wonderful Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman; and subsequently, I now feel sort of bad for Elementary and its stars, Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. The bottom line is that Sherlock is so well done that there’s almost no way Elementary will be able to hold a candle to it.
However, unlike many of these retellings of classic tales, Dracula won’t be a modernization—and maybe it’s this which will make it work. Furthermore, Greenblatt stated that “in the world of Twilight and True Blood and all the contemporized stories, we thought we’d go back to the original”—the goal is for the series to keep its Victorian roots while still looking forward to the future. And that? Is interesting. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is also a capable actor (if a little, shall we say, chaotic in real life) who might just be perfect for Drac.
We’ll have to stay tuned for more information on production and casting, but I’m curious enough to want to keep my ear to the ground about it. What about you, Bettys?
Tell us: Would you watch a Dracula TV show starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers?
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.