Mark Gatiss is set to direct a new Dracula adaptation that will air on BBC Radio 4 this Halloween.
The Unquenchable Thirst of Dracula, an unmade Hammer Horror script set in 1930s India, will star Lewis McCleod as the infamous Count, Nikesh Patel (Indian Summers, The Midnight Children) and The Crown’s Anna Madeley. Michael Sheen narrates.
Hammer Film productions are best known for gothic horror classics produced in the 1950s and 60s, including The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy.
Gatiss’s project – a collaboration with producer Laurence Bowen as part of Radio 4’s ongoing Unmade Movies series – will mark the first new production from the studio in 43 years.
“What better way to celebrate Hallowe’en than with a lost Hammer movie?” Gatiss said. “And not just any Hammer movie! Anthony Hind’s thrillingly titled The Unquenchable Thirst Of Dracula is a wonderful, rich and atmospheric script and way ahead of its time – set in the 30s, a sort of ‘Heat and Dust and Fangs’!”
Gatiss, of course, recently confirmed that he was reuniting with Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat to create a new TV version of Dracula for the BBC, expected to air in 2019. Gatiss told RadioTimes.com that the series would be a “stablemate” of Sherlock.
Narrator Michael Sheen, currently filming fantasy series Good Omens with David Tennant, said, “The prospect of a long lost Dracula script offering itself to me like a succulent pale neck was just too tempting. I devoured it in one sitting and cannot promise I won’t strike again.”
Gatiss added, “It was nearly made in the early 70s on location in India and I was thrilled to assemble a fantastic cast headed by Nikesh Patel, Michael Sheen, Meera Syal and Anna Madeley to bring this forgotten gem to gory life.”
The Unquenchable Thirst of Dracula will air on BBC Radio 4 at 2.30pm on Saturday 28th October