The TV series adaptation of 1996 horror hit 'From Dusk Till Dawn' is commencing production, and the principal actors have just been announced by producer/director Robert Rodriguez's El Rey Network.
When Rodriguez - who directed the original movie from a script by Quentin Tarantino (who also co-starred as Richie Gecko) - announced plans for a TV series based on the movie back in August, I had imagined that it might be a new story set within the same universe, taking the vampire-ridden Mexico strip club (if you know its name, you know I can't get away with repeating it here!) and exploring that setting further with an all new ensemble.
Turns out I couldn't have been further off the mark. The new cast brings back the key characters of the original movie, whilst Rodriguez - who is directing the first two episodes - declares that "If the movie's the short story, the series is the novel."
The press release (as published at Coming Soon) announces "The 10-episode serialized drama, created, directed and executive produced by Rodriguez, 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') will play Sheriff Earl McGraw in a recurring role."
DJ Cotrona is probably best known for the role he didn't get to play - he was lined up to appear as Superman alongside Armie Hammer's Batman in the aborted 'Justice League' movie of 2008.
Don Johnson (still best remembered by many of us for 'Miami Vice') will be taking over from Michael Parks as Sheriff McGraw. This character has become something of a signature for Parks, as he has reprised the role in 'Kill Bill Vol. 1,' 'Planet Terror' and 'Death Proof.' All this despite the fact that he dies in the first five minutes of the original 'From Dusk Till Dawn' - which indicates we shouldn't expect this new series to strictly adhere to the existing narrative.
We might also note there is as of yet no mention of the Fuller family - originally portrayed by Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis and Ernest Liu - who are abducted by the Geckos to help them sneak across the border from the US to Mexico.
Nor does this cast list mention who will take over in the role many will be most curious about - Santanico Pandemonium, the stripper made legendary by Salma Hayek.
The press release also makes no mention of Danny Trejo returning as the bartender, as he also did in the two little-seen straight-to-video sequels, although the 'Machete Kills' star recently assured fans he would be back in that role.
'From Dusk Till Dawn' is a long time favourite of mine, so I'm at once a little dismayed but also curious to see that this series will directly recreate story of the movie across a broader canvas. On the one hand I'd be keen to see different tales told within that world, but on the other there are more things that could be done with the existing story; for one thing, Rodriguez and Tarantino had originally planned to shoot what they promised was an epic heist scene and shootout to open the movie. Wonder if this abandoned sequence might finally be realised here...?
'From Dusk Till Dawn: the Series' is set to air in Spring 2014 - the press release mentions the UK as one of the territories it will receive distribution, so we can definitely expect to see it.
Excited about a 'From Dusk Till Dawn' series? Any casting suggestions for the remaining vacant roles? Okay commenters, let's get commenting...
Ben Bussey is a co-editor of horror website Brutal As Hell, has an MA in Cult Film & TV from Brunel University, and he's eager to see how the 'From Dusk Till Dawn' TV series turns out. He also hopes something comes of Clive Barker's plans for a 'Nightbreed' TV series, which was announced some time ago.
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