Stakes are High for a New Dracula

Due to the 2020 film, “The Invisible Man”, being a box office success within its few weeks in theaters, there has been discussion on another future remake in Hollywood. More specifically, another Dracula film. Currently, there are seven Dracula films made by Universal and plans for an eighth by Blumhouse Productions.
Vampire films are nothing brand new on the silver screen as the first one was back in 1922, known as “Nosferatu.” Since that time, more and more films and television shows have had aspects of vampirism, specifically with the Count. Acclaimed portrayals are by Bela Lugosi (Dracula), Christopher Lee (Dracula), Gary Oldman (Bram Stoker’s Dracula), and Luke Evans (Dracula Untold). Due to the horror character’s popularity, Dracula has had a play, musical, opera, animation, television adaptations and appearances, comics all dedicated to Stoker’s novel.
As of March 10, director Karyn Kusama has been attached to this new project as well as screenwriters Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay. Filmmaker and director of “The Invisible Man,” Leigh Whannell, has recently signed a two-year deal with Blumhouse Productions. Along with Whannell’s prolific work including the Saw and Insidious series and other horror films, Jason Blum and his company have had a ten year deal with Universal Pictures which began in 2014. While the project has not yet found a studio, it is likely that Universal, which had already made a reboot back in 2014 with Dracula Untold, will be the distributor.
Following the unsuccessful “Dark Universe” franchise, Universal has pulled away from intertwining classic horror monster movies. Originally, to kickstart the franchise was going to be “Dracula Untold,” but the tie-in was scrapped. However, in 2017, lead actor Luke Evans shared his opinion about the film’s future by saying ,“We left it very wide open, you know, this is a character who could transcend many different times and different periods of history.” Around that time, there was talk about a remake of the “Bride Of Frankenstein,” which would star Angelina Jolie, but the film needed a completed script. It was then decided that the first film of the franchise would be a remake of 1932’s “The Mummy.”
Released in 2017, The Mummy starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella was considered a box office bomb due to negative critical reviews and a gross less than the film’s budget. Since the film’s release, Universal and “The Mummy’s” director, Paul Feig, pulled away from the Dark Universe idea. It was not until 2019 that the thought of revamping classic monsters was considered. To prevent the same disappointment as “The Mummy,” Universal adapted “The Invisible Man. “
This concept of the “Invisible Man” was introduced back in 2007, but was not developed and was then brought back to be a part of the Dark Universe franchise. As of January 2019, The “Invisible Man” became a stand alone film instead. Changes affected the plot and cast as Johnny Depp was to be the lead. As Blumhouse Productions took the reins for the film, the plot focused more on the tone of domestic abuse and trauma. Eizabeth Moss was cast as the lead along with Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Adrien Griffin, the protagonist invisible man taken from H.G Wells novel.
Following the success and positive reviews of “The Invisible Man,” a concept for a rebooted “Dracula” has been suggested. However, both BBC and Netflix broadcasted an adapted “Dracula” television series in January of 2020. This Dracula, played by Claes Bang, was a “fallen hero” and not represented as the “villain” featured in Stoker’s novel. Even though the show had only three episodes, it had positive reviews for it’s entertaining and sensitive take on the character. ABC is adapting a soap opera based upon Dracula’s vampire brides. Back in 2015, production for the show was in development, but it had no build up until October of 2019. With a title called, “The Brides,” it is to focus on each of the lives of three immortal women. It currently has developed a cast and a plot waiting to be aired.
While Count Dracula as a whole has been depicted and viewed as satanic with evil intentions, in recent years Hollywood has viewed him as a tragic hero, a love interest, and even part of sexual fantasy. Regarding the new Blumhouse project, the fanged character could be placed in either category depending on which studio owns the screen rights. According to Kusama, she has hopes for making the well-known vampire, “scary again.” There is no word on the plot or a cast yet. What is known is that the film will take a modern spin on the 1897 story.