Fans of From Dusk Till Dawn have long known about the Gecko brothers’ bank heist in Abilene, but soon, for the first time, they’ll see how it all went down.
Director Robert Rodriguez has adapted his cult 1996 film into From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, premiering this year on Rodriguez’s own El Rey Network. The series expands on the film, adding new characters and plotlines to the story of two bank robbers — and the family they hold hostage — as they try to survive against vampires.
“We see things that led up to events in the film, and much deeper character motivations and storylines to sort of launch into the new story that we’re doing,” Rodriguez told BuzzFeed. “The film was a short story. This is the novel version.”
D.J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz will star as Seth and Richie Gecko, pictured here. The roles were originated by George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino, who also wrote the script, making these big shoes to fill.
“What’s fantastic about that is that the bar is already set so high, so you go in saying, ‘We will not settle for anything less than amazing casting, because people will have that expectation,’” Rodriguez said. “And they’re gonna make the comparison. It’s a terrific challenge, but we found fantastic people. I couldn’t be happier with the cast.”
The show’s ensemble also includes Robert Patrick as Jacob Fuller, played by Harvey Keitel in the original film, and Eiza Gonzalez as the sexy but bloodthirsty Santanico Pandemonium, first played by Salma Hayek.
Part of Rodriguez’s desire to expand From Dusk Till Dawn into a series comes from his interest in Mesoamerican mythology, something only hinted at in the film.
“I did some research when I did the film,” he recalled. “When I got into it, I realized, Oh my God, I would love to do a whole other story on this culture and on this mythology. Let me throw some hints in From Dusk Till Dawn, and maybe in another film I’ll explore this. And I never got to.”
The Mesoamerican mythology makes this a great fit for El Rey, according to Rodriguez, who hopes to tap into new facets of Latino culture with the network, as well as offering innovative, fast-paced entertainment.
“It is seeing something that you’ve never seen before, this Mesoamerican mythology of demon culture and these vampires that are not your traditional vampires,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a mix of this crime saga with these supernatural elements that will make this different from anything else on television.”