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Showtime's 'Let the Right One In' series expands the film's vampire mythology and characters

Let the Right One In, the much-loved Swedish vampire film, is getting a Showtime series adaptation.

By Tara Bennett
Ian Foreman as Isaiah and Madison Taylor Baez as Eleanor in LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

If you're a horror fan, you likely know that one of the most lauded films of the modern vampire genre remains Tomas Alfredson's 2008 Swedish classic, Let the Right One In. Based on the novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist, the story is an unusual tale about a young boy and a girl vampire who find profound connection with one another. It became a critical hit and was remade in English by director Matt Reeve in 2010, and now it's a streaming series for Showtime adapted by executive producer/showrunner Andrew Hinderaker (Away) and starring Demian Bichir, Anika Noni Rose, Madison Taylor Baez, and Grace Gummer.

At the Television Critics Association virtual panel day for the series, Hinderaker and executive producer/director Seith Mann talked to reporters (including SYFY WIRE) about what inspired them to do another adaptation. Both huge fans of the novel and the Swedish film, Hinderaker enthused that the original movie was one the best horror movies ever made and "probably the most moving," which spurred his own imagination to find a different way into the story for episodic storytelling.

"The relationship between those two children is just astonishingly beautiful and poignant and poetic, and there was an opportunity to use that as an aesthetic inspiration," Hinderaker said about translating that dynamic into the series through vampire Eleanor (Taylor Baez) and human boy, Isaiah (Ian Foreman). "And what's extraordinary about the film is it also felt like there was real creative space to build upon what was already there. For example, [in the film] there's a small relationship between the child vampire and her caretaker who fetches her blood. I was really interested in exploring addiction and exploring what a parent will do for a child when they are struggling with addiction. It felt like this incredible gift to take what was in the seeds of the film and create an entirely new story that would be centered around Demián's character Mark and Madison's character Eleanor and explore the lengths that this father would go to to keep his daughter alive."

The series is also set in present day New York City and follows two other primary stories told in parallel. In one, Noni Rose plays Naomi Cole, a New York City homicide detective and the single mother of social outcast, Isaiah. And there's the story of scientist Claire (Gummer), who discovers that her own family has also been afflicted with vampirism via her brother, Peter (Jacob Buster). "We've really expanded the mythology of the show to bring in these extraordinary characters of Naomi and Isaiah Cole, and then a whole other family that supports a vampire that's led by Grace's character, Claire Logan. It's a new story that really is at the same time very much a love letter to the film."

Mann, who shot the pilot, added that the series slightly shifting focus to the father‑daughter relationship allows for the deep exploration of the lengths that people will go to for the love of their child. "That hit me in a very personal and emotional way, seeing it with Demián's character, Madison's character, seeing it with Grace's character's relationship with her brother and their father, and seeing all of these people transformed into behavior that on the surface could be described as monstrous. But understanding where it was coming from, understanding their motivations, really being able to connect to the humanity and some of the evil things that people do was really profound for me," the director detailed. "And then having the foil of Anika's character, Naomi, who is dealing with a regular child with regular child problems, and seeing that the stakes for each of them is tied to each other."

Let the Right One In premieres Oct. 9 on Showtime.

In the mood for some bloodsucking vampire drama? Check out Vampire Academy, now streaming on Peacock