Downton Abbey Producers Plan Lavish Dracula Series

Another week, another Dracula project announced. Following swiftly on from the news that Babylon 5 creator JM Straczynski is writing Vlad Dracula for Starz, we learn that NBC and Sky Living have commissioned another take on Bram’s seemingly infinitely-adaptable vampire tale from the production company behind Downton Abbey, Carnival Films . (There are at least three Dracula films in development Hell at the moment as well, including Dracula Year Zero and The Last Voyage Of The Demeter.)

Called simply Dracula , the 10-episode series will star Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Production will commence later this year.

Based on a script by co-executive producer Cole Haddon, the series begins as Dracula arrives in London, posing as an American entrepreneur who maintains that he wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. In reality, he hopes to wreak revenge on the people who ruined his life centuries earlier. There's only one circumstance that can potentially thwart his plan: Dracula falls hopelessly in love with a woman who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife.

Universal Television Executive Vice President Bela Bajaria said: "It is a timeless tale with relevant, surprising twists and turns with the exquisite Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the marquee role."

Michael Edelstein, President, NBC Universal International Television Production, said: “We are delighted that Jonathan Rhys Meyers has chosen this project to return to television and have built an amazing team of producers behind the camera to deliver this extraordinary show. Since 1897, the story of Dracula has captivated readers and viewers alike and this sexy, updated twist on the classic also promises not to disappoint.”

Anna Mensah, Sky's Head of Drama, commented: " Dracula combines the biggest and best talent both in front of and behind the camera and will keep our customers intrigued and enthralled. With its dark, twisted and intelligent script it absolutely sets the scale, tone and ambition for future dramas on Sky Living.”

Antonia Hurford-Jones, acting director, Sky Living added: “As one of the nation's most iconic literary characters, this new incarnation of Dracula feels like the perfect fit for our Sky Living audience. It's an extremely exciting time for the channel and this co-production with NBC Universal marks the start of big things to come.”