Variety was the first to report that Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat were working on a new take on the Bram Stoker story last year, and that Sue Vertue’s Hartswood Films was set to produce. U.K. pubcaster the BBC has now commissioned three 90-minute installments. Netflix will carry the show in most markets outside the U.K.
“Dracula” marks another collaboration between Moffat and Gatiss after they combined efforts on episodes on Hartswood-produced “Sherlock.” Set in 1897, the series will revolve around the blood-drinking count from Transylvania who sets his sights on Victorian London.
Moffat and Gatiss said: “There have always been stories about great evil. What’s special about Dracula is that Bram Stoker gave evil its own hero.” Vertue quipped: “There’s nothing like fresh blood.”
Charlotte Moore, BBC director of content added: “Genius duo Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss turn their attentions to Dracula for unmissable event television on BBC One.”
Moffat executive produced and was showrunner on several seasons of “Doctor Who.” Actor and screenwriter Gatiss has starred in numerous British series including “Sherlock,” in which he played Mycroft, Holmes’ brother. Gatiss has previously talked about his love of classic horror films and the 1958 version of “Dracula,” starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
Larry Tanz, VP, content acquisition, Netflix said: “We can’t wait to bring Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ brilliant storytelling to our members around the world and we are eager to collaborate on yet another series with the BBC.”
Others have attempted to adapt the Gothic horror story for TV. NBCUniversal’s Carnival, producer of “Downton Abbey,” made “Dracula” for NBC in 2013, but it only ran for one season.
It is the latest BBC-Netflix project. BBC chief Tony Hall has talked about the threat posed by the streamers and U.S. tech firms to the pubcaster, but they have teamed for shows including “Troy: Fall of a City” and “Duty/Shame.”
“Dracula” is a co-production of BBC One and Netflix. Gatiss, Moffat, Vertue and the BBC’s Ben Irving are exec producers. Tobi de Graaff, director of commissioning and co-production at BBC Studios, brokered the deal with Netflix for Hartswood Films. Netflix has the premiere rights globally, with the exceptions of the U.K. and China. BBC Studios holds the second window rights.