Before Pacific Rim was even a glint in his eye, screenwriter Travis Beacham’s heart and soul went into his fantastic spec script, A Killing On Carnival Row. A supernatural steampunk mystery, it fast became one of the industry’s most well-loved unproduced scripts after Beacham sold it to New Line back in 2005. Master of genre, Guillermo del Toro stepped up to the plate in the hopes of directing it, before Neil Jordan and Tarsem Singh contemplated the same. After a while, however, the project fell stagnant and it languished away in development limbo.
That’s no longer the case, though. Re-dubbed Carnival Row, Legendary TV and Amazon Studios has re-enlisted del Toro to executive produce, co-write and direct the property in the shape of a TV series. Joined by Beacham and The 4400 scribe Rene Echevarria – who will both executive produce with Echevarria also serving as showrunner – the trio will pen three scripts commissioned by Amazon. Their typical model for new series has previously revolved around the filming of a pilot, which is then evaluated following a public viewing. In this instance, due to the scope and scale of Carnival Row, it’s expected that it will move from script to series, foregoing the pilot process.
A fairy tale world tinged with darkness, Carnival Row revolves around a quasi-Victorian world in which humans enslave a whole manner of supernatural creatures for their own gain. When a detective finds himself at the centre of a murder investigation after a series of faeries are senselessly butchered (one of which forms part of the original script’s dazzling opening sequence), he must do whatever it takes to clear his name.
For a more in-depth look at Carnival Row, you can read the synopsis below.
In the fictional Victorian town of Burgue, fantastical creatures vampires and faeries live alongside humans. These mythological inhabitants, subjugated by the humans, are forced into either menial or criminal lines of work to merely survive, such as drug dealing vampires and fairy prostitutes. When a serial killer begins murdering the faeries, a la Jack The Ripper, a human detective who’s been engaged in a taboo relationship with a fairy courtesan becomes the prime suspect and he sets out to clear his name by finding the true culprit.