It's quite common for big screen veterans to dabble in directing for the small screen. In fact, it's a trend that seems to grow every pilot season. It's a little less common for a feature film director to stick around for an entire show, though, but that is precisely what Cabin Fever and Hostel director Eli Roth will be doing with Hemlock Grove, a previously announced supernatural series that has just unveiled its two stars: The ever fetching Famke Janssen and the relatively new Bill Skarsgard.
Based on a novel by Brian McGreevy, Deadline's dissemination of the press release gives us a general overview of the series, which will initially consist of 13 episodes and begin airing early next year:
Hemlock Grove” starts with the body of a young girl, mangled and murdered in the shadow of the former Godfrey steel mill. Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a biotech facility owned by the former steel magnates. Others believe the killer could be Peter, a 17-year-old Gypsy kid from the wrong side of the tracks, who tells his classmates he’s a werewolf. Or it could be Roman (Skarsgard), the arrogant Godfrey scion, whose sister Shelley is disturbingly deformed and whose mother, Olivia (Janssen), the otherworldly beautiful and controlling grand dame of Hemlock Grove.
Sounds like it's a little Twin Peaks, a little True Blood, with a touch of primetime rich white people's problems. And that's okay with us. Genre television is really hitting its stride these days, with consistently above average shows like Supernatural, Grimm, The Walking Dead, Lost Girl, Being Human, The Fades, The Secret Circle and more giving the small screen a welcome dash of things that usually only go bump in the night best on the big screen. The level of production quality on television shows has gone up across the board of late (though you wouldn't know if all you watched was the miserable green screen work on ABC's Once Upon a Time), so we're curious to see what Roth can bring to the table as both a director and a producer.
And that would be true regardless of what network picked up the series, but there's a bonus curiosity factor her since Hemlock Grove isn't actually heading to broadcast TV, but straight to Netflix. And yes, horror hounds, the blood-loving director hints he'll be taking full advantage of that fact, "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."