Shooting has begun in Austin, Texas on From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series
, the small screen spin-off of the Robert Rodriguez-directoed, Quentin Tarantino-penned film of the same name from 1996. The series will debut in Q1 of 2014 on Rodriguez's newly-conceived 24-hour cable channel, El Rey Network, which launches in December.
El Rey is producing the 10-part drama series, with Robert Rodriguez directing the first two episodes. D.J. Cotrona (Dear John, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) and Zane Holtz (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) star as the fugitive Gecko brothers (originally played by George Clooney and Tarantino), who flee Texas for Mexico after a bank robbery gets bloody, only to fall foul of a strip club full of vampires. Don Johnson is slated to appear as recurring character Texas Ranger Earl McGraw (previously embodied by Michael Parks). Jesse Garcia also stars.
With two direct-to-video spin-offs, there is clearly some mileage in the FDTD property, but Rodriguez, and showrunner Carlos Coto look set to upset any pre-existing chronology by going back to the start of the story and presumably, playing the events of the first film over again in this new longer form. Shows like The Walking Dead, Sleepy Hollow, Dracula, Hannibal and American Horror Story prove there's clearly a market for horror-based TV dramas, so let's see how this one plays out. Of course the burning question is who could possibly replace the delectable Salma Hayek as Santanico Pandemonium?!
Personally, I'm also curious to see how the El Rey Network itself fares, which describes itself as: "a new 24-hour English-language network founded by maverick filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. The network's action-packed content is anchored by original signature dramas, feature films, grindhouse genre, cult classic action, horror/sci-fi and next-generation sports. Curated by Rodriguez and his artistic collective, it will serve as a platform for diverse and riveting storytelling. El Rey Network awakens the renegade in everyone and has been created for viewers who won't check a box."
El Rey Network in association with FactoryMade Ventures, today announced the production start of "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series," the first scripted original to air on Robert Rodriguez's new genre-busting cable network set to debut this December. Based on his cult classic film of the same name, the supernatural crime saga, hour-long series (which will premiere on El Rey Network in Q1 2014) began filming in Austin this week with Rodriguez set to direct the first two installments.
The 10-episode serialized drama, created, directed and executive produced by Rodriguez (Sin City, Machete, Desperado) and based on the 1996 cult classic he created with Quentin Tarantino, will feature a principal cast including: D.J. Cotrona (Dear John, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) as Seth Gecko, the role that famously launched the film career of George Clooney. Zane Holtz (Holes, The Perks of Being a Wallflower) stars as Richie Gecko, and Jesse Garcia (Quinceañera, Sons of Anarchy) plays Texas Ranger Freddie Gonzalez, a new character created for the series. Don Johnson (Django Unchained, Nash Bridges) joins in a recurring role as Sheriff Earl McGraw. Other cast will be announced in the coming weeks. Miramax, producing studio and distributor of the original film, is distributing the series internationally in all territories with the exception of Canada, China, India and UK.
Rodriguez said: "If the movie's the short story, the series is the novel." He added: "We have assembled an amazing cast and crew, and viewers can expect to be part of a wild ride when the series premieres on El Rey Network next spring."
Rodriguez is joined in the Executive Producer ranks by Carlos Coto (who is also showrunner); and FactoryMade Ventures and El Rey Network co-founders John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa. Diego Gutierrez is writer and co-executive producer. The gritty look and feel of the series will be brought to life by production designers Steve Joyner and Caylah Eddleblute, set designer Jeff Adams, director of photography Eduardo Mayén and costume designer Nina Proctor. Special effects team will be spearheaded by Bob Trevino.
Based on the thrill-ride film, "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series" is a supernatural crime saga centered around bank robber, Seth Gecko (Cotrona) and his violent, unpredictable brother, Richard "Richie" Gecko (Holtz), who are wanted by the FBI and Texas Rangers Earl McGraw (Johnson) and Freddie Gonzalez (Garcia) after a bank heist left several people dead. While on an escape route to Mexico, Seth and Richie encounter former minister Jacob Fuller and his family who they take hostage. Using the family RV to make a run for the Mexican border, chaos ensues when the group detours to a strip club that is unknowingly populated by vampires, and forces them to fight until dawn in order to get out alive. The series deepens the tone of the film, adds new characters and backstories and expands the Mesoamerican mythology behind the vampires.
"From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series" is an El Rey Network production in association with FactoryMade Ventures.
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