Josh Hartnett and Eva Green are on board Showtime's upcoming series "Penny Dreadful". Both actors are cast in the lead roles for the monster show, which is created by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan .
Dropping the news at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Tuesday, July 30, Showtime president David Nevins said "Pearl Harbor" star Hartnett would play Ethan Chandler, a fake American cowboy who impresses Victorian women, but has a dark side. He isn't afraid of violence and is more complicated than he likes to admit.
As for Green who will next be seen in "300: Rise of an Empire", she is set to portray Vanessa Ives, which Nevins dubbed "sort of the fulcrum of the show." She is additionally described as a "seductive and formidable beauty full of secrets and danger." She will prove herself a force to be reckoned with and the heroine of the series.
The psycho-sexual horror series will find characters such as Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and characters from "Dracula" in Victorian London, weaving together classic horror origin stories as the characters grapple with their monstrous alienation. "The monsters aren't going to look like the traditional pictures in your mind you have from old movies of Dracula or Frankenstein," Nevins promised.
Production is set to start in October for a planned spring premiere. Logan will write and executive produce the eight-part show with "Skyfall" director Sam Mendes. Pippa Harris will also serve as executive producer, and Juan Antonio Bayona is tapped to direct the first two episodes.
Also at the TCA, Showtime announced that Golden Globe nominee Ruth Wilson would join Dominic West in drama pilot "The Affair". She will play a young married woman working in a pancake house, trying to regain her life after a tragedy.
Responding to a protest to save "The Borgias" taking place at the TCA, Nevins said, "I feel bad that money is being spent" to pay a plane to fly over the Beverly Hilton. He added, "As I was pulling in today, there was one protestor out there. I opened my window and asked him what he thought about the finale, and he said he hadn't seen it. He was a paid protestor. I was a little disappointed."
The network has also set January 12 as the return date for "Shameless", "Episodes" and "House of Lies".