Guillermo del Toro Plans ‘Carnival Row’ Series at Amazon Studios

By January 9, 2015
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After Legendary Pictures picked up a long-gestating script for a project called A Killing on Carnival Row this past year, what was once meant to be a film is now being turned into a television series.

THR has word that Guillermo del Toro is taking a fantasy script from his Pacific Rim writer Travis Beacham and turning it into a TV series project at Amazon Studios with Legendary, and it now has the shorter title of “Carnival Row.” This is a script that has been percolating in Hollywood since 2005, and now has new promising life. So what’s the project about?

The story is set in a noir, Victorian-tinged city where humans, fairies and other creatures co-exist. The film script followed a detective looking into the case of preying on mystical creatures, but he himself became the prime suspect. More than likely, the script will be retooled to be more of a fantasy procedural, but that’s just speculation on my part.

Guilermo del Toro

Travis Beacham scripted A Killing on Carnival Row back in 2005 when it was picked up by New Line and del Toro became attached. But the director ended up leaving the project after it was stuck for years in development hell. Other directors flirted with the project over the past decade, but it never took hold. But it only seems appropriate that del Toro has circled back around to make it happen now.

Del Toro will executive produce the series with his collaborator from FX’s “The Strain” Gary Ungar, and the filmmaker will also co-write the pilot with Beacham and Rene Echevarria (“Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Terra Nova”). Echevarria will also executive produce the series and will be a showrunner partner. In addition, the plan is for del Toro to direct the pilot this spring before he moves on to his next feature film, which is believed to be Pacific Rim 2.

It sounds like this is the best scenario for the project as Legendary head honcho Thomas Tull says, “We always had too many ideas to fit into the feature. We can now really focus on the world and the politics of what it is to be a magical being in Victorian steampunk atmosphere where you are seen as a lesser being.” Sounds like a perfect project for del Toro to kick off, and it just might keep raising the profile of Amazon’s original programming.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.