With two movie versions of the Swedish vampire novel Let the Right One In already out there, TNT’s new pilot for a possible TV series (announced Monday) might seem like just another rehash of those previous, award-winning efforts. According to screenwriter and executive producer Jeff Davis, that’s not the case. “The TV series will not be a remake of the American version,” Davis tells Fandom. “We’re taking inspiration from the novel and the story will definitely have more of an international aesthetic.”
Davis worked on the LTROI pilot script for more than a year. Originally the subject of a bidding war between A&E Studios and Showtime, the project first landed at A&E. The studio backed away earlier this year and the rights reverted to Marty Adelstein’s Tomorrow Studios. TNT scooped up the project this summer and tapped Adelstein and Davis to Executive Produce. They have similar roles on MTV’s Teen Wolf which enters its sixth and final season this fall.
Davis says the pilot will return to the original’s roots both artistically and geographically. “The pilot script currently starts in Stockholm, Sweden and sees the vampire, Eli, traveling to America with her caretaker.”
Davis and TNT Taking TV to a Darker Place
The original novel deals with a friendship between Eli (who appears to be an adolescent) and a human 12-year-old boy. The book travels along the darker side of human nature. It deals with alcoholism, bullying, pedophilia, genital mutilation and other all-too-real evils. Davis says it’s from that dark well that his pilot script springs. “In this way, we’re hoping to satisfy fans of both the original movie and John Ajvide Lindqvist’s book which contains certain sinister plot elements that never made it into the movies.”
If it makes it past the pilot stage, Let the Right One In will shore up attempts by Turner’s TNT to retool its dramatic slate. 2014 hit The Last Ship moved the network past its staple stable of cop drama and procedural and into more high-concept fare. And, from Davis’ description, it seems LTROI will be right at home with the recently renewed crime-family drama Animal Kingdom, upcoming series Will (about a young William Shakespeare) and The Alienist which pits Theodore Roosevelt against criminals in New York’s gilded age.