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Penny Dreadful is back from the dead.
Some three years after the series came to a rather surprising end in 2016, a new version of the series, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, is set to start production in 2019. Rather than continue the story, however, the new version will be set in a different time and place and feature a new cast. Showtime and creator John Logan describe it as a “spiritual descendant” of the original.
City of Angels, as its title implies, will be set in Los Angeles; the first run of Penny Dreadful took place in Victorian-era London. Like its predecessor, though, the new series will feature conflicts between the forces of good and evil involving both human and supernatural characters.
Logan and Michael Aguilar (Kidding) are executive producing the revival along with Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris of Neal Street Productions. Paco Cabezas, who directed multiple episodes of Penny Dreadful‘s first iteration, is on board to do the same for City of Angels.
The Hollywood Reporter is tracking developments on the series and will update this story as news warrants. Bookmark the page for all the latest developments.
City of Angels begins in 1938 Los Angeles, a time and place deeply infused with Mexican-American folklore and social tension. It will explore pre-World War II Los Angeles, from the building of the city’s first freeways and its deep traditions of Mexican-American folklore, to the dangerous espionage actions of the Third Reich and the rise of radio evangelism.
“In 1938, Los Angeles was facing some hard questions about its future and its soul. Our characters must do the same,” Logan said. “There are no easy answers. There are only powerful questions and arresting moral challenges. As always in the world of Penny Dreadful, there are no heroes or villains in this world, only protagonists and antagonists; complicated and conflicted characters living on the fulcrum of moral choice.”
The story will involve a young LAPD detective (Daniel Zovatto) and his family, his veteran partner (Nathan Lane) and a shape-shifting demon (Natalie Dormer). The show began filming in August 2019; a premiere date hasn’t been set.
Tiago Vega, played by Daniel Zovatto (Here and Now), is a young detective at the LAPD who investigates a grisly murder. The case will eventually sweep him into an epic story that reflects the rich history of the city.
Lewis Michener (Nathan Lane) is Tago’s partner. A veteran of the department, Lewis is wise to the ways of the world and ruthless in pursuit of his goals.
Showtime shared a photo of Zovatto and Lane in character as filming got underway.
Welcome to Los Angeles, 1938.
— Penny Dreadful: City of Angels on Showtime (@SHO_Penny) August 27, 2019
Magda, played by Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones), is a demon who can take on the appearance of anyone she chooses and will appear in the guise of several people during the course of the story.
Mateo and Josefina Vega (Johnathan Nieves and Jessica Garza) are Tiago’s younger siblings. Mateo is good-hearted but vulnerable to his emotions and influences around him, while Josefina plays the part of the overlooked youngest sister but has a powerful spirit waiting to be unleashed.
Maria, played by Adriana Barraza (Babel), is the matriarch of the Vega family. She’ll go to any lengths to protect her children from the dangerous world of 1938 social politics, as well as the supernatural forces invading their lives.
Dr. Peter Craft is played by Rory Kinnear, who also starred in the first Penny Dreadful (as a different character). Logan, who calls Kinnear “one of my favorite actors on the planet,” wrote the part with him in mind. Dr. Craft is the leader of the German-American Bund, an organization dedicated to keeping the United States isolated from the growing threat of war in Europe.
Sister Molly (Halt and Catch Fire‘s Kerry Bishé) is a charismatic radio evangelist, a gifted singer and orator. She captivates her many followers but grapples with the demands of her own life.
Councilman Charlton Townsend (Michael Gladis of Mad Men and House of Lies) is the ambitious head of the L.A. City Council’s Transportation Committee. He possesses a killer instinct and ruthless political wiles.
Santa Muerte (Lorenza Izzo, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) is the Angel of Holy Death and sister of Dormer’s demon Magda. Izzo will recur in the key role.
Raul Vega (Adam Rodriguez of Criminal Minds and CSI: Miami) is the oldest child in the Vega family, a righteous union leader who tries to act as a father figure to younger brother Tiago.
Richard Gross (Thomas Kretschmann, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Berlin Station) is a mysterious German architect with grand plans for the future of Los Angeles and an unsettling connection to City Hall.
Kurt (Dominic Sherwood, Shadowhunters) is Gross’ driver and bodyguard. There’s more to him than meets the eye, as he has unexpected depth and a surprising background.
Herman Ackermann (Ethan Peck, Star Trek: Discovery) is the second in command to Kinnear’s Peter Craft at the German-American Bund. His aggressive politics and personal magnetism create tension within the group.
Miss Adelaide Finnister (Amy Madigan, Carnivale, Grey’s Anatomy) is Sister Molly’s mother. She shrewdly manages the church’s finances and oversees her daughter’s growing empire.
Capt. Ned Vanderhoff (Brent Spiner, Outcast, Star Trek: The Next Generation) is Tiago and Lewis’ commander at the Hollenbeck LAPD station in Boyle Heights. He’s under a lot of pressure to keep a lid on some of the volatile forces at work in the city.
Dottie Minter (Lin Shaye, Insidious) plays Dottie Minter, an ally of Lewis and an invaluable operative in the battle against Third Reich espionage.
Linda Craft (Piper Perabo, Notorious) is Peter Craft’s wife and mother of their two kids, Trevor (Hudson West) and Tom (Julian Hilliard). She’s disappointed with her husband and bored with her constrained suburban existence.
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