Looks like Grandpa Munster has been found for the new NBC pilot ‘Mockingbird Lane.’ Word has it that Eddie Izzard is in final negotiations to take on the role made famous by Al Lewis.
Izzard is the first to be cast in the series which seems to be a great coup on the executive producers’ part. Not only is he an accomplished comedian, he has been on the TV series ‘The Riches’ and ‘United States of Tara’ as well as in the movies ‘Ocean’s 12’, ‘Ocean’s 13’, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,’ and has lent his voice to Pixar’s animated movie ‘Cars 2.’
Izzard will be playing Grandpa Sam Dracula, “a powerful, ancient vampire with an irrepressible twinkle in his eye. He can shape shift into rats, wolves, and other creatures at will, but he’s also dapper and charming in a fedora; he is a Don Juan-type womanizer with penchant for flashy, sexy outfits.”
Izzard was originally offered the role in January but due to scheduling conflicts (he was already involved in a development project with FX), he was unable to take the part. In the meantime, NBC decided to push production from spring to June in order for the production team to work on improving the show’s “creative aspects.” This delay enabled the producers to again offer the part to Izzard who, impressed with the concept of the reboot, came on board. Not only will Izzard star in the pilot but he will also receive producing credit.
‘Mockingbird Lane’ is the brainchild of Bryan Fuller (‘Heroes’, ‘Pushing Daisies’, ‘Dead Like Me’) who also wrote and will executive produce the pilot. His first attempt to sell the sitcom to NBC was met with the network passing on the deal but this new version seemed to have struck the right chord with the executives. While the original half hour show was a comedy, this edgier and darker version is being billed as a “visually spectacular one hour drama” exploring the origins of Herman and Lily Munster and how they arrived at the now infamous 1313 Mockingbird Lane home. Bryan Singer (who has directed ‘Jack the Giant Killer’, ‘X-Men’, and ‘Superman Returns’) will be directing the pilot as well as executive producing.
With production to begin in June, expect to see more casting news come out!