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Starz goes genre with 'Incursion' and 'Vlad Dracula'

July 11, 2012|By Patrick Kevin Day
  • The original screen Dracula (with Bela Lugosi, right) will get a fresh interpretation on Starz.
The original screen Dracula (with Bela Lugosi, right) will get a fresh interpretation… (Universal Studios )

Starz continues to expand its genre cred with two new series the cable network announced for development. The first is a science fiction action thriller from "Spartacus" creator Steven S. DeKnight and the other is a gothic horror thriller from "Babylon 5" creator J. Michael Stracynski.

"Incursion," the series from DeKnight, is set in the middle of an intergalactic battle between humans and an alien race. Each season follows a squad of soldiers on a different planet as they continue the war.

According to Starz, the series is expected to feature "grittily realistic combat" and "darkly complex characters." So don't expect a "Star Trek" variation.

Stracynski, who wrote an impressive 92 of the 110 total episodes of his science fiction series "Babylon 5," returns to TV after an extended sojourn in features (where he wrote the Clint Eastwood movie "Changeling") for the horror-themed series "Vlad Dracula."

The series will mix the real-life history of Vlad the Impaler, the 15th century prince of Wallachia, with the fictional Dracula story as it follows the descent of a respected ruler into an ageless vampire. Stracynski will be teaming with "Ring" producer Roy Lee and "Spartacus" producer Rob Tapert on the series.

The Count is on a bit of a hot streak in Hollywood, with several film projects involving Bram Stoker's creation in various stages of development. Director Eli Roth is working on a version of the Dracula story titled "Harker," which reportedly makes the character of Jonathan Harker into a detective on the vampire's trail. Director Neil Marshall is also working on a retelling of part of the Dracula story titled "Last Voyage of the Demeter." And in 2009, Brad Pitt announced he was producing his own version of the tale, titled "Vlad the Impaler."

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patrick.day@latimes.com

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