A crime drama which will rework Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is to be filmed in Northern Ireland.
Sean Bean will star as Inspector John Marlott in The Frankenstein Chronicles, a six-part series commissioned by ITV.
The production has been created by Emmy-nominated director and writer Benjamin Ross and is set in 1827. Filming will begin in January.
Benjamin said: “Marlott’s investigation takes him into the dark corners of Regency London. He discovers an underworld of prostitution, drug smuggling, bodysnatching and murder for profit.
“The rational evidence points first one way and then another as he contemplates a frightening alternate scenario.”
The series is a reworking of Frankenstein – a novel about a scientist who creates a grotesque creature – which combines a detective drama with a horror thriller.
In the opening sequences the Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, following a successful operation by Thames River Police to apprehend a gang of opium smugglers, recruits Marlott.
As he stands on the water’s edge contemplating the arrest of the smugglers, Marlott makes a shocking discovery.
The body of a dead child is washed up on the shore and on further examination of the corpse he is horrified to discover it is not actually a child but rather a crude assembly of body parts arranged in a ‘grotesque parody of a human form’.
Benjamin added: “The mutilated child-like body leaves an indelible impression on Marlott and he finds himself unable to shake off the memory of what has happened that fateful night.”
Filming by Rainmark Films will begin in Northern Ireland, with funding from Stormont agency Northern Ireland Screen, in January.
ITV’s director of drama Steve November and controller of drama Victoria Fea commissioned the series for ITV Encore.
Steve said: “The Frankenstein Chronicles is an epic re-working of one of literature and cinema’s most iconic stories.
“We’re delighted to be working with Benjamin Ross, Barry Langford and the team at Rainmark Films with the vision to bring Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein back to life.”
Benjamin, whose credits also include Poppy Shakespeare and RKO281, will direct the series.
The director of Rainmark Films, Frank Doelger, is lead producer on the HBO hit series Game Of Thrones, which is shooting season five in Belfast, Dubrovnik and Seville.