Eli Roth to direct Famke Janssen and Bill Skarskard in the Netflix serial drama ‘Hemlock Grove’
It appears CABIN FEVER and HOSTEL director Eli Roth will be venturing into the world of serialized drama when he steps behind the lens to direct the recently announced Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgard in the Netflix-distributed series Hemlock Grove.
Hemlock Grove starts with the body of a young girl, mangled and murdered in the shadow of the former Godfrey steel mill. Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a biotech facility owned by the former steel magnates. Others believe the killer could be Peter, a 17-year-old Gypsy kid from the wrong side of the tracks, who tells his classmates he's a werewolf. Or it could be Roman (Skarsgard), the arrogant Godfrey scion, whose sister Shelley is disturbingly deformed and whose mother, Olivia (Janssen), the otherworldly beautiful and controlling grand dame of Hemlock Grove.
As the crime goes unsolved and outlandish rumors mount, Peter and Roman decide to find the killer themselves, confronting unspeakable truths about themselves and Hemlock Grove as the mystery unfolds.
Roth seems quite excited to be diving into the world of serialization, stating "What's most exciting to me is creating the series for Netflix, which as a feature filmmaker is like telling a story in a new medium. Netflix as a platform is the perfect hybrid of cinema, television, and social networking, with the creative freedom to go as dark as the story needs."
He adds, "I've been waiting for years to dive into television, and Eric Newman and I founded Arcade to do elevated genre projects exactly like Hemlock Grove. Brian McGreevy's novel blew me away, and the material lends itself perfectly to long format storytelling. Hemlock Grove is smart, dark, complex, and at times terrifying."
Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer, is also excited about this partnership. "Eli Roth is a master of this genre and Brian McGreevy's brilliant novel gives Roth a world where he can create his magic," he said. "Hemlock Grove is a sly blend of J.D. Salinger and Mary Shelley and will appeal to a broad base of fans captivated by these rich characters and stunning visuals."
The first season, which will debut in early 2013, will feature 13 episodes and will mark Roth's first foray not just into serials, but into drama. He will serve as director and executive producer, and will be joined by executive producer and writer Brian McGreevy, who wrote the original novels. Gaumont International Television will produce, with Lee Shipman, Eric Newman, Michael Connolly, and Mark Verheiden serving as executive producers as well.
"It is an honor to be working with Eli Roth, a director whom I've admired for years, along with Brian McGreevy & Lee Shipman and the team at Netflix on this series," commented Gaumont International Television chief executive officer Katie O'Connell. "Netflix is the perfect platform for this exhilarating reinvention of the gothic mystery story. From day one, our mandate at Gaumont International Television has been to produce high-quality drama programming for the U.S. and international markets and Hemlock Grove certainly fits the bill."