A relatively-unknown Danish actor is to play the lead in a new BBC One adaptation of Dracula, made by the team who created Sherlock for Benedict Cumberbatch.
Claes Bang will play the vampire in the mini-series, which starts filming next year and has been created by Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the duo whose reboot of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels proved an instant success.
Bang is best known for playing museum curator Christian in The Square, the arthouse thriller co-starring Mad Men actor Elisabeth Moss which won the Palme D’Or at Cannes Film Festival in 2017. He is also in the current film adaptation of Steig Larsson’s novel The Girl In The Spider’s Web, which co-stars Claire Foy.
Speaking about landing the role in the series, which will be shown on Netflix outside the UK, Bang said: “I’m so excited that I get to dig into this iconic and super interesting character. Yes he’s evil, but there’s also so much more to him. He’s charismatic, intelligent, witty and sexy.
“I realise that there’s a lot to live up to with all the amazing people that have played him over the years, but I feel so privileged to be taking on this incredible character.”
Moffat and Gatiss have kept most of the other details under wraps about their forthcoming Dracula series. However, they have revealed that, while Sherlock relocated Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson to modern-day London, Dracula will be set in 1890. Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula was published in 1897.
Actors who have previously played Dracula include Gary Oldman, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Christopher Lee and Bela Lugosi.
BBC Drama controller Piers Wenger said of the new series: “Hell has a new boss. Claes is an outstanding leading man.”
Since the most recent Sherlock series was screened in 2017, Moffat has also handed over production of Doctor Who to Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall for the current run starring Jodie Whittaker, while Gatiss co-wrote and starred in a three-part revival and tour of The League Of Gentlemen.