It’s an ambitious undertaking to serialize any vampire-related lore for television, and Showtime’s take on Let the Right One In looks up for the challenge. In the first images released exclusively on Entertainment Weekly, we get our first look and details on the upcoming series, which is based on the John Ajvide Lindqvist novel that later was adapted into two films—first by Swedish filmmaker Tomas Alfredson in 2008 and later The Batman director Matt Reeves with 2010's Let Me In.
This time around Selena: The Series star Madison Taylor Baez plays the child vampire, Eleanor, in her first decade as an undead person under the protection of her father, Mark, played by Demián Bichir (The Nun). The New York City-set show will switch up the original story adapted quite faithfully in the movies, but it aims to hit similar themes. “The [original] film is about a relationship between an isolated bullied boy and an isolated lonely girl, who we learn is a vampire,” showrunner Andrew Hinderaker told EW. “What I found so compelling about that film is there’s a much smaller relationship between the vampire and [her] adult caretaker. I really used the film as inspiration for a story that really focuses on a 12-year-old girl who has been a vampire for 10 years. She has been taken care of by her father, who keeps her alive, who keeps them ahead of the law, and who has kept hope alive for both of them that one day they will find a cure and this won’t be her life always.”
This departure really sets it apart from its source material and really almost seems like an original story idea centered more on family. “This is the story of a father and his daughter and all the obstacles they have to conquer and overcome in order to keep themselves alive,” shared Bichir. “Mark’s daughter has been infected, so to speak, with a very, very strange and terrible virus, disease, however you want to call it. I’m saying [it like] this because, to me, this story goes beyond any vampire story. To me, this is about many other things that we’re actually experiencing. It’s about how difficult it is in any society for anyone to be different and to try to fit in.”
While this change is intriguing, it does feel rather drastically different and begs the question that if it doesn’t quite look like or follow the same story, should it really be considered Let the Right One In?
At its core, it does share the same focus on the friendship between two lonely kids. Anika Noni Rose also stars as a cop named Naomi Cole, whose son Isaiah (Ian Foreman) befriends Eleanor when they become neighbors. Hinderaker explained, “It was important to me to aspire to capture the spirit of the film and for the show to be a love letter to it, In the film, there is that relationship between the two children that is so pivotal in terms of what makes it iconic, what makes it so beautiful. So, this father and daughter move next door to another 12-year-old child, Isaiah, a boy who is isolated and bullied. Isaiah and Madison, our vampire, form a truly powerful and precarious friendship that’s made all the more precarious because Isaiah’s mother is a homicide detective.”
The cast of Let the Right One In also includes Grace Gummer, Kevin Carroll, Jacob Buster, Nick Stahl, and Željko Ivanek. It arrives on Showtime this fall.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.