Showtime’s upcoming Los Angeles-set version of Penny Dreadful is actually going to film in the City of Angels, thanks to lucrative tax credits from the state of California.
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, which will star Daniel Zovatto, Natalie Dormer and Nathan Lane, has conditionally received $24.7 million as a relocating series under the Golden State’s $330 million annual incentives program.
That devilish sum is the most any small-screen project has ever been award under the expanding program. The previous record holder of sorts was the $17.7 million that Season 2 of HBO’s Westworld was handed and the $16.8 million that Lucifer Season 3 was rewarded as part of its relocation from Vancouver to L.A. in 2016.
Estimated by the California Film Commission to save $99 million on below-the-line wages and other qualified expenditures during its upcoming debut season, the Ireland-based City of Angels is the 16th series to jump from another jurisdiction to the home of Hollywood since the program was expanded in 2014. Only relocating series were eligible for the CFC’s most recent TV application period, which ran February 4-9.
“Choosing where to set up production for the next chapter of the Penny Dreadful fable was one of the most important decisions we had to make, and there were many options we looked into,” Showtime’s co-president of entertainment Jana Winograde said of the move from Dublin for the John Logan-created horror franchise. “Shooting in California obviously has many attractions, but without the state’s film and TV tax credit it could become cost prohibitive,” the exec added. “We couldn’t be happier about how things worked out or the benefits it will bring to the job market.”
Besides its leads like Zovatto, Dormer and Lane, plus recently added Oscar and Golden Globe nominee Adriana Barraza, City of Angels is projected to employ more than 350 cast members, 150 crew and 10,000 extras in its first now L.A.-based season.
First announced November 1 last year, Logan’s sequel of sorts to the Emmy-nominated series that ran 2014-2016 and starred Eva Green and Timothy Dalton, is set in the swirling change of the L.A. of the 1930s and the growing metropolis’ Mexican-American folklore. In a way, today’s relocation announcement is just another feather in the cap of the incentive program’s goal to pluck projects back to Cali, but a logical move aesthetically and culturally for the series which is partially directed by Paco Cabeza.
Production on Penny Dreadful: City of Angels is set to start this spring with a premiere sometime later this year or early 2020, I hear.
Now set to run until 2025 thanks to an extension inked by now retired Gov. Jerry Brown in late June last year, the most recent round of applications for independent and non-independent films went from the day after the Oscars on February 24 to March 1. Successful applicants can expect to notified on April Fool’s Day, which has its own inner wit in some ways.
On the TV landscape, contenders for the tax credits next can digitally submit applications from May 20-24, the first for fiscal year-five of what is unofficially called the state’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program 2.0.
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels is executive produced by Logan and Michael Aguilar, along with the original series’ EPs Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris, both of Neal Street Productions. Logan’s Desert Wolf Productions will produce, and James Bagley will serve as co-executive producer.