British actress Billie Piper (“Doctor Who,” “Secret Diary of a Call Girl”) has signed on to star in the Showtime drama series Penny Dreadful, which will begin filming this fall for a 2014 premiere on the network. Piper will play Brona Croft, an Irish immigrant to Victorian London trying to escape a dark and sordid past. She joins recently announced stars Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear and Harry Treadaway.
In addition to Piper, noted English actors Helen McCrory (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), Danny Sapani (“The Bill”) and Simon Russell Beale (My Week with Marilyn, “MI-5″) will also star in the drama series. McCrory will play Madame Kali, a spiritualist; Sapani will take on Sembene, an African warrior and longtime ally of Sir Malcolm (Dalton); and Russell Beale will star as Ferdinand Lyle, an eccentric Egyptologist.
Penny Dreadful is a frightening psychological thriller created, written and executive produced by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan (Hugo, The Aviator, Gladiator) and executive produced by Logan’s Desert Wolf Productions, along with Oscar winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall) and Pippa Harris (Revolutionary Road), both of Neal Street. Of the eight episodes, the first two will be directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, who helmed The Orphanage and the acclaimed film, The Impossible starring Naomi Watts in her Oscar-nominated performance.