Netflix continue their foray into original programming with Gothic mystery series Hemlock Grove, with Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgard set to star.
Eli Roth is directing and exec producing the 13-episode season, which will be available to Netflix subscribers in early 2013.
Hemlock is based on a Brian McGreevy novel about the murder of a young girl in the shadow of the disused Godfrey steel mill. This sets forth a chain of theories with fingers pointed at the White Tower, a biotech facility owned by the wealthy, mysterious Godfrey family.
Arrogant Godfrey scion Roman (Skarsgard) becomes a prime suspect, along with Peter, a 17-year-old kid from the wrong side of the tracks, who has been telling his schoolmates he’s a werewolf. Janssen will play Olivia, the beautiful but seemingly dangerous and controlling grand dame of the town. Dangerous truths and secrets bubble to the surface as Roman and Peter team-up to hunt for the killer themselves.
Hemlock represents the first major foray into serialized drama for Roth, who launched the Hostel horror franchise and has appeared in several films, including Inglourious Basterds. Roth is excited by the Netflix-based project:
“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.”
Hemlock joins Netflix’s growing list of original serialized content, which includes the recently debuted ganster series Lilyhammer, as well as the upcoming Kevin Spacey-starring House of Cards and the revival of the FOX serial-comedy Arrested Development — both coming up within the next 12 months. The streaming service is also eying canceled broadcast seriables such as FOX’s Terra Nova and ABC’s The River. Interesting times for Netflix and serialized drama.
Hemlock is exec produced and written by McGreevy and Lee Shipman. Also exec producing are Eric Newman, Michael Connolly, and Mark Verheiden.