Besides his role on Showtime’s original Penny Dreadful, Kinnear is probably best known as MI6 man Bill Tanner in the Daniel Craig-headlined James Bond films, and has appeared in films such as the recent Brexit TV movie, iBoy and The Imitation Game. He’s also fielded TV runs on Quacks, Count Arthur Strong and Guerilla.
Adriana Barraza has joined the cast, as reported Variety. She will play Maria Vega, described as “the powerful matriarch of the Vega family, who will go to any lengths to protect her children from the dangerous world of 1938 social politics, as well as from the chilling supernatural forces invading their lives.” While Barraza, a Mexican actress, has mostly stayed home for film and television roles, she’s been branching out stateside, notably with a recurring run on FX’s The Strain – memorably as the vampire-virus-afflicted mother of Miguel Gomez’s Gus – and films such as Thor, Drag Me to Hell (2009), Babel, Wild Horses and Cake. She was recently seen in Dora and the Lost City of Gold and Sylvester Stallone-starring sequel actioner, Rambo 5: Last Blood.
Nathan Lane is also in this cast, as first reported by Variety. He will play Lewis Michener, described as “a veteran officer in the LAPD, wise to the ways of the world and ruthless in pursuit of his goals.” Lewis will be assigned as the partner of series protagonist Tiago Vega (Daniel Zovatto), to whom he will also serve as a mentor. Lane, a decorated three-time Tony winning, five-time Emmy nominated actor, has been fielding a TV run on ABC’s Modern Family, along with a notable 2018 guest role on NBC’s The Blacklist and a run on FX’s American Crime Story’s 2016 O.J. Simpson-centric first season. Known as the voice of meerkat Timon in Disney’s The Lion King, Lane became a household name off a memorable performance opposite Robin Williams in 1996’s The Birdcage, and cemented his stardom in 2005’s The Producers, in which he and Matthew Broderick put their acclaimed Broadway adaptation of the Mel Brooks classic comedy to film.
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels Story
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels brandishes the tag line: “Sometimes what’s dead doesn’t always remain.” The show is described as a “spiritual descendant” of the original series, set to focus on an entirely new set of characters, moving the mythos chronologically ahead and a whole continent away from the previous show’s Victorian London setting to 1938 Los Angeles. There, the backdrop – teeming with social tension – will facilitate events rooted in Mexican-American aspects of supernatural folklore, with denizens who are in conflict over their respective focuses of worship, with some loyal to the deity, Santa Muerte, and others who worship the Devil. Consequently, the series is described as an amalgamation of the social realities of the setting and time period with themes centering on the occult.
“We were so thrilled when John Logan came to us with this wildly original take on the Penny Dreadful mythology that explores both the human spirit and the spirit world here in California.” Gary Levine, President of Programming, Showtime Networks Inc., said in a statement , “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels promises to be an extraordinary saga of familial love set against the terrifying monsters that are around us and within us.”
While the original series balanced themes of magic and monsters with the economic desperation and soot-and-smog-strewn realities of Victorian London, City of Angels will apparently exercise a balance of its own between the socio-political and supernatural. As creator John Logan explains:
“Penny Dreadful: City of Angels will have a social consciousness and historical awareness that we chose not to explore in the Penny Dreadful London storylines,” Logan said. “We will now be grappling with specific historical and real world political, religious, social and racial issues. In 1938, Los Angeles was facing some hard questions about its future and its soul. Our characters must do the same. There are no easy answers. There are only powerful questions and arresting moral challenges. As always in the world of Penny Dreadful, there are no heroes or villains in this world, only protagonists and antagonists; complicated and conflicted characters living on the fulcrum of moral choice.”
We’ll update this with more information as it becomes available!