The show, which has already cast Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the title role, will be based on the characters from the Bram Stoker novel, and is already being described as a mix between Dangerous Liaisons and The Tudors - all with a bit of the supernatural thrown in.
Showrunner Daniel Knauf has been hired to write and oversee the project. As you may recall, Knauf is most famous for creating the HBO award-winning, but short-lived historical fantasy serial Carnivàle, but has also written for Supernatural over on The CW, and the short-live Christian Slater vehicle, My Own Worst Enemy - which I quite liked, even if no one else did.
We have this official synopsis of the show:
The 10-episode series introduces Dracula as he arrives in London, posing as an American entrepreneur who maintains that he wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. In reality, he hopes to wreak revenge on the people who ruined his life centuries earlier. There’s only one circumstance that can potentially thwart his plan: Dracula falls hopelessly in love with a woman who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife.
The Victorian era, and parts of its wardrobe, are pretty popular in geek culture currently as part of the steampunk fad, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the ‘Victorian society’ of the show is a bit steampunky. In fact, that may be the show’s major visual gimmick. Seeing how Knauf depicted the American 1930's in Carnivàle just reinforces the possibility. It will surely be noticeably stylized in some way.
When Dracula was originally announced a few months back, it was a bit surprising, considering we'd heard nothing about it up until that point, when all we really knew about was the casting of Meyers, which was followed by three more months of silence leading up to the latest announcement. It's abnormal for there to be no visible development for a show on a major network, and it's difficult to say what this actually means. Possibly, NBC just has so much faith in the concept that they see no need to go through the lengthy process of approval and development which is the usual cause of the news on such projects. Then again, it could mean just the opposite.
The addition of Knauf, however, is welcome. He's a showrunner that we know and we already like his whimsical, if not subliminally grotesque style.
Dracula is still in development at NBC, not production or premiere dates have been announced, but if it follows a typical production schedule, we'll likely see the pilot in fall of 2013.