Netflix Getting Original Murder-Mystery Series22 Mar, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Netflix has signed a 13-episode deal with director-actor Eli Roth for an original murder-mystery-monster series set in a rural Pennsylvania mining town. It will be available for streaming in 2013.
The Los Gatos, Calif.-based subscription video-on-demand pioneer said the series, “Hemlock Grove,” marks Roth’s first foray into serialized drama as a director and executive producer. Roth created the “Hostel” horror franchise, directed and produced several major motion pictures and appeared in several films, including as Sgt. Donny Donowitz in Quentin Tarantino’s critically acclaimed Inglourious Basterds.
“Hemlock Grove” starts with the body of a young girl murdered in the shadow of the former Godfrey steel mill. Some suspect an escapee from a biotech facility owned by the former steel magnates. Others believe the killer could be a 17-year-old Gypsy kid from the wrong side of the tracks, who tells classmates he's a werewolf. Or it could be Roman (Swedish actor Bill Skarsgard), the arrogant Godfrey scion, whose sister Shelley is disturbingly deformed and whose mother, Olivia (Famke Janssen), is the otherworldly beautiful and controlling grand dame of Hemlock Grove.
“Eli Roth is a master of this genre, and Brian McGreevy’s brilliant novel gives Roth a world where he can create his magic," Ted Sarandos, chief content officer with Netflix, said in a statement. “'Hemlock Grove' is a sly blend of J.D. Salinger and Mary Shelley (Frankenstein) and will appeal to a broad base of fans captivated by these rich characters and stunning visuals.”
Netflix, which is spending billions licensing premium content from major studios and media content holders, has sunk its teeth into original serial dramas and comedies, including the current Norwegian-set “Lilyhammer,” upcoming “House of Cards” with Kevin Spacey and prison drama “Orange Is the New Black,” from Lionsgate.
“Hemlock Grove” is being produced by Gaumont International Television, which is also developing a project called “Hannibal” for NBC.