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Let the Right One In is coming to TV, with a new take on child vampirism

The first trailer keeps the melancholy from the book and movies, but adds explosions

Tasha Robinson leads Polygon’s movie coverage. She’s covered film, TV, books, and more for 20 years, including at The A.V. Club, The Dissolve, and The Verge.

The vampire thriller Let the Right One In has the kind of compelling story that prompts creators to keep revisiting it in new forms. Originally a 2004 Swedish bestseller by author John Ajvide Lindqvist, it was adapted into a Swedish-language movie in 2008, and remade by The Batman director Matt Reeves in 2010, in an English-language version called Let Me In, starring The Power of the Dog’s Kodi Smit-McPhee and the Kick-Ass movies’ Chloë Grace Moretz. A stage version written by His Dark Materials screenwriter Jack Thorne has toured the world.

And now a new version of the story is coming to Showtime, preserving the title and character dynamic, but radically changing the story. In the book and film versions, an ancient vampire with the body of a young girl seeks companionship, working with a devoted adult minder, but finding her most meaningful connection in a protective friendship with a young boy. The TV version has a different dynamic and goal: The young vampire, Eleanor (Madison Taylor Baez), was only turned a decade ago, and her father Mark (Demián Bichir) is trying to keep her safe and supplied with blood, while finding cures for both her vampirism and her loneliness.

The first trailer suggests more onscreen action and intensity than the movie versions of the story, though it preserves the sense of melancholy that comes from an ageless child permanently isolated from other children, and the horror of that child being a blood-drinking predator at the same time.

Andrew Hinderaker, writer and creator of Netflix’s Hilary Swank space series Away, will serve as showrunner on the series, which debuts Oct. 9, with a streaming preview for Showtime subscribers on Oct. 7.

Madison Taylor Baez as the young vampire Eleanor and Demián Bichir as her father Mark stand in a dim warehouse-like space together in the 2022 TV version of Let the Right One In. Photo: Francisco Roman/Showtime