February 11, 2013 2:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
NBC's 'Dracula' Drama Finds its Van Helsing in Thomas Kretschmann
NBC's Dracula drama has found its Van Helsing.
King Kong and The River alum Thomas Kretschmann will play the legendary role of Abraham Van Helsing, while Mr. Selfridge's Oliver Jackson-Cohen has joined the cast of the Jonathan Rhys Meyers series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The series, which bypassed the traditional pilot stage, takes place in the 1890s and finds Dracula (Meyers) living a double life in London as an American businessman interested in bringing modern science to Victorian society. But his true plan -- to exact revenge on those who burdened him centuries ago -- is derailed when he falls in love with Mina (Arrow's Jessica DeGouw), who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife.
In NBC's version, Van Helsing is not the classic hero featured in so many retellings. Here, he's a brilliant professor with a cool exterior who is obsessed with revenge and makes him more of a threat to the public than to Dracula.
Jackson-Cohen, meanwhile, will play Jonathan Harker, a tenacious journalist desperate to climb the ranks of aristocracy and stay there in the 10-episode drama.
Based on a script by co-exec producer Cole Haddon, Dracula will be exec produced by former HBO Films president Colin Callendar for Playground, Tony Krantz (24, Sports Night) for Flame Ventures and Gareth Neame (Downton Abbey) for Carnival Films, a division of NBCUniversal International Television Production, Dan Knauf (Carnivale) and Universal Television. Sky's head of drama Anne Mensah will serve as commissioning editor.
Kretschmann, whose credits also include playing Dracula in last year's Dario Argento feature and Hostel: Part III, is repped by APA and Myman Abel. WME and Management 360-repped Jackson-Cohen's credits include World Without End and the feature The Raven.
The duo join a cast that also includes Irish actress Victoria Smurfit as Lady Jayne, Merlin's Katie McGrath and Game of Thrones' Nonso Anozie, who play Mina's best friend Lucy Westenra and Allan Grayson's (aka Dracula) loyal confidante, respectively. NBC is eyeing Dracula for fall 2013.