Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat Announce Star of New 'Dracula' Project

Sherlock co-creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have announced the star of their latest project, casting Claes Bang as the Prince of Darkness in their revamp of Bram Stoker's classic novel Dracula.

Mark trailed the news yesterday (November 28), telling his Twitter followers "The Dead travel fast #Dracula," before retweeting the BBC's official update.

Claes isn't exactly a household name, but don't expect that to last long. He made waves as gallery owner Christian in The Squarewhich won the Palme d'Or at last year's Cannes Film Festival, and is currently starring alongside Claire Foy in The Girl in the Spider's Web.

"Who else could it be than Claes!" Mark and Steven said in a statement. "He has it all. Brilliant, gorgeous, charismatic, lethal. Tall, dark and gruesome all at once. Hell has a new boss."

Claes, for his part, was just as gushing. "I am thrilled to be taking on the role of Dracula," he said in a statement, "especially when the script is in the hands of the incredible talents of Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and the team responsible for Sherlock."

It's no wonder he's pleased. Mark and Steven have something of a habit of making stars of their lead actors, with Benedict Cumberbatch going from Brit cult actor to Marvel superhero after his turn as a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. And then there's Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi, whose careers are going from strength to strength after being cast in one of sci-fi's most famous roles.

Claes will play the blood-loving Count in three 90-minute episodes set in Victorian England, which are due to start filming early next year.

"Yes he's evil," he said about the iconic character, "but there's also so much more to him, he's charismatic, intelligent, witty and sexy. I realize that there's a lot to live up to with all the amazing people that have played him over the years, but I feel so privileged, to be taking on this incredible character."

Among those "amazing people" are Bela Lugosi, Sir Christopher Lee, Frank LangellaGary Oldman and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, meaning Claes has quite an act to follow when he takes on the role.

Dracula is expected to air some time in 2019, on BBC One in the U.K. and on Netflix in the U.S.

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