TCA: Josh Hartnett, Eva Green Join Showtime’s ‘Penny Dreadful’

Hartnett plays a fake cowboy in Victorian drama

Josh Hartnett and Eva Green have joined Showtime's Victorian monster show "Penny Dreadful."

Hartnett will play Ethan Chandler, a fake American cowboy who impresses Victorian women, but has a dark side, Showtime president David Nevins said at the Television Critics Association summer press tour Tuesday.

Green plays Vanessa Ives, "sort of the fulcrum of the show," he said. The network describes her as a "seductive and formidable beauty full of secrets and danger."

The series is expected to go into production in October, and may air by spring 2014.

The eight-episode series from "Skyfall" team Sam Mendes and John Logan finds characters such as Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and characters from "Dracula" in Victorian London, weaving together classic horror origin stories as the characters grapple with their monstrous alienation. Pippa Harris also executive produces.

"The monsters aren't going to look like the traditional pictures in your mind you have from old movies of Dracula or Frankenstein," Nevins said.

Juan Antonio Bayona, director of "The Orphanage" and "The Impossible," has been tapped to direct the first two episodes.

Showtime also announced that Golden Globe nominee Ruth Wilson has been cast as the female lead of its drama pilot "The Affair." She will play Alison, a young married woman working in a pancake house, trying to regain her life after a tragedy. Golden Globe nominee Dominic West has been previously announced as Noah, a father of four who makes her Ruth question her decisions.