Univeral’s Dracula, formerly Dracula Year Zero, the studio’s monstrous origin story of the most famous of all vampires, has landed Luke Evans (The Raven) in the lead role. In his first starring studio role, Evans will play a young prince who makes the ultimate sacrifice to save his wife and child in this historically oriented take on the origin of the infamous vamp. Debut feature director Gary Shore, who earned his experience in the world of commercials, plans to start production on the film later this year. The film’s producer Mike De Luca previously spoke with Steve a few years ago when the studio had pulled the plug on the picture due to budget issues. Hit the jump for more on Evans’ role and to see what De Luca revealed about Dracula Year Zero.
Universal Pictures, once known for their iconic monster movies, has revived an old classic with a new twist. Originally planned to be directed by Alex Proyas (Knowing) and starring Sam Worthington (Avatar), Universal pulled the plug on Dracula Year Zero due to budget concerns. Now, the studio has resurrected the project and is negotiating with newcomer Gary Shore to direct. While Worthington is out of the picture, producer Mike De Luca is still around. Why does that matter? Because Dracula Year Zero is a passion project of his, one he spoke about at length with Steve two years ago. Not just another vampire flick, Dracula Year Zero was described by De Luca as “on the scale of Braveheart with Dracula, so it’s a lot of…it’s armies. It’s an invading Turkish army. It’s a lot of supernatural action.” If that information is still relevant, Dracula Year Zero will definitely turn out to be a fresh take on an old tale. Hit the jump for more.
Earlier today, Encore reported that Alex Proyas’ Dracula: Year Zero would be shooting early next year in Australia and that Worthington was attached to star. This was interesting news for two reasons. First, last we heard about Worthington and this project, his name was “under consideration” for the title role. Secondly, it didn’t seem likely that the project would shoot early next year since Worthington is scheduled to do Clash of the Titans 2 during that time.
We’ve now done some digging and discovered that Worthington is attached to play real-life historical figure Prince Vlad of Transylvania (pictured above, who may have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula) and that the plan is to shoot in June 2011. As a fan of Alex Proyas (Dark City, I Robot) I’m very excited to see his take on this supernatural thriller, especially with the movie most likely getting a large budget to work with.
Back in January, Steve spoke to producer Mike De Luca about the project and he revealed a lot of info. Hit the jump for what he said along with a list of Worthington’s other projects.
Summit doesn’t fear a Son of Anarchy as they’ve brought in screenwriter Scott Kosar to work on Charlie Hunnam’s script for Vlad, an action-thriller based on the life of Vlad the Impaler as a young prince; before he became known as Dracula. Kosar’s previous films include the 2004 Christian Bale flick The Machinist as well as the remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror, and The Crazies. The film will be directed by music video director Anthony Mandler.
Another pre-Dracula tale trying to get off the ground is Alex Proyas’ Dracula: Year Zero, which also follows the historical tale of Vlad the Impaler, but then takes a supernatural route. I’m not sure Vlad will do the same and it could (and may have to) distinguish itself by setting the myth of Dracula in a realistic setting so audiences can see not the Dracula we know today, but how a historical figure inspired Bram Stoker’s tale of the bloodsucker. Year Zero is also looking to land a big name actor, such as Sam Worthington, in the lead role. Vlad may intend to do the same but hasn’t reach that stage yet. It could also just be a smaller production. It will be interesting to see if either or both of these projects go into production, but these days it seems wise to bet on vampires even if they don’t sparkle in sunshine.
[UPDATE: We can confirm that Sam Worthington is one of the actors "under consideration" to play Dracula]
With Terminator Salvation and Avatar, 2009 was a year where we saw that Sam Worthington was the real deal and deserved to be an A-list action star. Latino Review reports that Worthington may be taking that action to Transylvania in Alex Proyas’ Dracula: Year Zero. Speaking with Steve a couple weeks ago, producer Mike De Luca said this about the project:
No, these writers came up with the ingenious-what I think is ingenious-approach combining historical Dracula with Bram Stoker’s Dracula. So it chronicles the efforts of a young prince, Vlad of Transylvania trying to keep the Ottoman empire and the Turk’s of the time from using his small country as a stepping stone to invade Europe….so in a moment of desperation he looks at this mountain top in Transylvania that all the gypsies in his country say is haunted and full of bad black magic. And he’s never believed in any of that supernatural kind of what he thinks is hogwash. But in a moment of desperation he ascends that mountain to see if there’s any truth to any kind of power that he could use to keep the invading army out. And he finds something that gets him to where we have come to know him as Dracula and uses that power source to kind of fight the Turks after he’s changed.
I’m not sure if I see Worthington as Dracula, but with his massive success, I guess I should get used to seeing him as everything, including Dracula. Hit the jump for De Luca’s full comments regarding Dracula: Year Zero.
If you’ve been reading Collider the past few days, you’ve seen what I’m calling “7 Days with Producer Mike De Luca”. The reason for the name is, I was able to speak with De Luca for an extended amount of time and rather than post everything at once, I’ve broken our conversation up into smaller parts. I’ve already posted what he said about the Metal Gear Solid movie, Ghost Rider 2, Drive Angry and Dracula Year Zero. Today it’s all about Priest and what’s up with the remake of Fright Night.
On Priest, De Luca says Screen Gems President Clint Culpepper flipped over the concept and thinks the movie could be the start of a franchise. Of course it’s all about box office numbers, so if the film does well, expect a sequel for sure. De Luca also confirms Priest will have a presence at this year’s Comic-Con.
And for fans of the original Fright Night, you’ll be relieved that De Luca says:
“I get it that remakes are a drag to hear about. I’m on the Internet all the time. I know what they say. Like there’s no original ideas in Hollywood. I understand the responsibility on the remake front of things because there are fans…you have responsibility I think to the fans of the original and you also have the responsibility to not suck even more than something original because you have so many people expecting you to suck because of the predisposed bias against remakes and stuff.”
He goes on to explain the idea of the remake, that Fright Night could be filming this year at DreamWorks, they’re expecting the first draft of the script in a few weeks, and compares the scope and size of the film to Disturbia. Much more after the jump:
If you’ve been reading Collider the past few days, you’ve seen what I’m calling “7 Days with Producer Mike De Luca”. The reason for the name is, I was able to speak with De Luca for an extended amount of time and rather than post everything at once, I’ve broken our conversation up into smaller parts. I’ve already posted what he said about the Metal Gear Solid movie and Ghost Rider 2, and now it’s time for his updates on Drive Angry and Dracula Year Zero.
If you haven’t heard of Drive Angry, it’s going to star Nicolas Cage and it’ll center on a man who is chasing the people who killed his daughter and kidnapped her baby. It’s going to be a hard R and in 3D. Also, it’s directed by Patrick Lussier, who recently did the very fun My Bloody Valentine 3D. According to De Luca, “it’s hyper pulpy.” He also says we can expect “car parts and body parts flying at you in 3D.” Awesome.
The other update was on Alex Proyas’ Dracula Year Zero. According to De Luca, the project is still at Universal and he’s trying to get the studio to think it could be one of their big tentpole releases. He says, “as written it’s literally on the scale of Braveheart with Dracula.” Much more after the jump:
A few weeks ago I posted something called “7 Days with Producer Dan Lin“. The reason for the title was we discussed so many different projects, it took seven days to post them all. Thankfully, the interview went over extremely well, and now it’s time for a new “7 Days” column and this one is with producer Mike De Luca.
As you can tell by looking over his resume, De Luca has produced over 50 films and he’s got tons of projects in development. While I’ll be posting updates on Metal Gear Solid, Butter, Fright Night, Dracula Year Zero and tons of other things in the coming days, tonight is all about Ghost Rider 2.
For those who don’t know, the sequel to Ghost Rider is moving ahead full steam with a script by David Goyer. According to De Luca, “We have an outline that David wrote that kind of adapts his 2001 script into today’s times with incorporating kind of an original idea of Nic’s.”
We talked about whether or not Mark Steven Johnson will be back directing and if Eva Mendes would return as Roxanne Simpson. Oh, and he told me the tentative title is Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. So much more after the jump: