Guillermo Del Toro to bring his magic-meets-steampunk series to Amazon

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Hellboy and Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro is heading to Amazon for one of his next projects, the noir-influenced fantasy series A Killing on Carnival Row.

Based on an original script from del Toro’s Pacific Rim screenwriter Travis Beacham, Carnival Row is set in a city resembling Victorian-era London, but unfolds in a world where humans coexist with faeries and all sorts of other magical creatures. The series follows a detective investigating the murder of faeries in a seedy neighborhood called “Carnival Row.”

The script the project is based on has been making the rounds in Hollywood for years, after initially being picked up for development as a feature film by del Toro, then later dropped, only to have a series of other filmmakers — including Tarsem Singh (The Cell) and Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) — show a fleeting interest.

Now that the Inttelevision format has become more welcoming to fantasy fare (thank you, Game of Thrones), del Toro and his frequent production partner Legendary Pictures reacquired the project with the intent of making it a series instead of a standalone film.

“We tried to do it for so long as a film that the rights reverted back to Travis as a basic story,” del Toro told The Hollywood Reporter. “And I’ve always talked about it to anyone that would listen.”

With del Toro already having some success in the television world thanks to his work on the FX horror series The Strain, the transition to a more decompressed medium for the story appealed to the celebrated filmmaker. Del Toro co-produces the series and is expected to co-write the pilot episode with Beacham and Rene Echevarria (The 4400). He’ll likely direct the pilot episode, too — much as he did with The Strain.

Production is expected to begin this spring, before del Toro begins work on the sequel to Pacific Rim. There’s no word yet on when the series will debut on Amazon.

“We always had too many ideas to fit into the feature,” said Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull. “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.”

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