Downton Abbey indie Carnival Films is to produce a new version of classic vampire story Dracula for Sky Living and US network NBC.

The co-production will see Bram Stoker’s vampire posing as a US entrepreneur in London pretending to bring modern science to Victorian society but actually plotting revenge on those who ruined his life centuries earlier.

However Dracula, played by Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors), ends up falling in love with a woman who seems to be his dead wife reincarnated.

The 10-part series was ordered by Sky’s head of drama Anne Mensah and Universal Television’s executive vice president Bela Bajaria. It marks the first time Sky and NBC have co-produced a series.

Dracula will be produced by Carnival, which is owned by NBC Universal, along with Flame Ventures and Playground.

Carnival’s Gareth Neame will exec produce with script writer Cole Haddon, Emmy winner Playground’s Colin Callender, Flame’s Tony Krantz and Reece Pearson and Sky’s Mensah.

Mensah said it was a defining show for the channel.

“Dracula combines the biggest and best talent both in front of and behind the camera and will keep our customers intrigued and enthralled,” she said.

“With its dark, twisted and intelligent script it absolutely sets the scale, tone and ambition for future dramas on Sky Living.”

Sky Living’s acting director Antonia Hurford-Jones added: “As one of the nation’s most iconic literary characters, this new incarnation of Dracula feels like the perfect fit for our Sky Living audience.” 

This story was originally published in Broadcast