While moviegoers digested (or endured) the Twilight era of sparkly cinematic vampires, it appears that another blood-sucker barrage is upon us. While Universal reorganizes its ambitious plans for the “Dark Universe” movie monster franchise, which prospectively includes a Van Helsing movie, it appears that rival Paramount Pictures is mounting its own Dracula prequel project, called Dracul.
Dracul, is moving forward over at Paramount, brandishing the authorization of the estate of Dracula author Bram Stoker, reports Deadline. The project is reportedly being shaped to accommodate director Andy Muschietti, whose work on the reboot film of Stephen King horror classic It has been widely met with praise in its early reviews. Consequently, the studio wishes to brings that whole band back together, prospectively teaming Muschietti with It producers in (Andy’s sister) Barbara Muschietti and Roy Lee.
Dracul was reportedly just acquired by Paramount executive Vanessa Joyce in a 5-house auction brokered by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency. The UK rights went to Simon Taylor of Transworld and to Michel Lafon France in a pre-empt. Joyce will oversee the project’s development, joined by Miri Yoon of Vertigo Entertainment.
Interestingly enough, the estate-authorized Dracul (which means “The Dragon,”) will reportedly showcase a quasi-biographical storyline in which author Bram Stoker himself serves as the protagonist. Taking place in 1868, a 21-year-old Stoker will reportedly experience a horrific encounter with what is referred to as “an ungodly evil” that becomes trapped in an ancient tower; events that presumably become the inspiration for his bellwether 1897 Dracula novel.
Of course, we recently got a “Dracula Prequel” with Universal’s 2014 box office dud Dracula Untold, in which Luke Evans played would-be vampire Vlad Tepes, whose Faustian bargain turned an earnest leader into the evil Prince of Darkness. Dracul, however, seems to carry story attributes with the testimonial nature of 1994’s Anne-Rice-adapted hit Interview with the Vampire and the quasi-history 2000 film Shadow of the Vampire, which depicted a fictionalized account of the filming of the very first Dracula film in 1922 German expressionist outing Nosferatu, pitting director F.W. Murnau (John Malkovich) in a tenuous working relationship with actor Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe), who – in the film’s story – is a real vampire.
As for would-be Dracul director Andy Muschietti, he’s busy floating with the September 8 release of It, with projects such as video game adaptation Shadow of the Colossus and episodes of the television adaptation of IDW horror comic Locke and Key on his docket. We’ll let you know how this develops.
Read and download the full Den of Geek Special Edition magazine here!