Producer Alex Kurtzman Says VAN HELSING Reboot Will Be “Grounded in Reality”; Compares Their Take to Previous Versions of the Story

     June 27, 2012


Though Tom Cruise had been involved in a reboot of Van Helsing since 2010, the project didn’t actually get moving until this past May when it was announced that Star Trek and Transformers screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman would be producing the pic with Cruise set to star.  Given that Orci and Kurtzman are juggling a number of major projects at the moment (Star Trek 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Ender’s Game, and the release of People Like Us), we haven’t heard much about the direction this reboot will take.

Kurtzman recently talked to us about how The Dark Knight‘s realistic influence has informed their take on the story, and now the producer has spoken a bit more about grounding their Van Helsing in reality and how their version will differ from previous iterations of the story.  Hit the jump for more.

van-helsing-alex-kurtzmanIn an interview with Crave Online, Kurtzman talked about how they’re starting to approach Van Helsing:

“Well, I don’t want to give away too much, because we are actually at the very beginning of talking about what to do with it. But I do feel like the Van Helsing that Anthony Hopkins plays in [Bram Stoker’sDracula is sort of the parody version of it, and the Van Helsing that Hugh Jackman played was obviously in a different place as well. I think that these kinds of movies have evolved a lot since then. You know, The Dark Knight was a major, major corner-turning moment in the way that genre and superhero stories could be told. Really grounded in reality. Really grounded in really cool things. That’s what I’d like to do without sacrificing the fantasy element. We aspired to do that as well on Trek, you know, keep it “real.” That’s such a different franchise than Batman, but that’s really what we wanted to do. And we’d love to do that with Van Helsing.”

We’ve seen plenty of superhero films take the “dark and gritty” route in The Dark Knight’s wake, with varying degrees of success.  While The Avengers proved that keeping things light and fun can still make for a really fantastic movie (having a supremely talented director doesn’t hurt either), I’m actually not wholly opposed to Kurtzman and Orci taking a more grounded approach to Van Helsing.

anthony-hopkins-van-helsingDirector Stephen Sommers’ 2004 iteration of the character came off as goofy and slightly hammy given the heavy reliance on CGI effects, so taking things is a different direction is probably the way to go.  That’s not to say it wouldn’t be great to see a fun, Avengers-esque version of Van Helsing at some point, but I don’t think Kurtzman and Orci are the right guys to spearhead that kind of take.  Kurtzman cites Star Trek as another film in which they tried to ground the pic in reality while not ignoring the fantastical elements, so hopefully we’ll get something along those lines tone-wise.  Not light and colorful by any means, but nowhere near as gloomy as The Dark Knight.

It’s still early days in the development of Van Helsing, and Kurtzman and Orci are also in the process of rebooting The Mummy at the same time.  Moreover, Cruise’s schedule is incredibly busy as well, so it could be a few years before we see this thing go into production.  At least now we have a slight idea of what to expect from this new iteration of the famed vampire hunter that wasn’t an American president.

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  • diles3

    I think the Star Trek reference is an important point. For some, realism in the Nolan sense means dark. I am not sure why that has to be the case. Iron Man and Star Trek are two great examples of realism with a lighter tone. Nolan’s dark realism is more, I think, a function of the fact that it is Batman more than anything else.

  • lmao

    Lol “grounded in reality” – please, Van Helsing? not everything works with that shit. These guys are a joke. Let’s reboot Dumb & Dumber and ‘ground it in reality’ – that would be fucking sad wouldn’t it be.

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  • aaronsullivan

    Scrolled down here to say basically the same thing. :)

    When he compared Star Trek to Nolan Batman it took all the skepticism away for me. Kurtzman has the right idea, I think.

  • aaronsullivan

    *same thing as diles3 that is! Not that lmao nonsense.

  • Fist-O-Pain

    Well they will screw this up. Many fail to realize they wrote the Transformers series.

    • Strong Enough

      ehhhhhhhhhh no

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  • Not a Tom Cruise fan

    Van Helsing was not ment to be a super horror film. The fact that they want to remake it is pointless. Hugh Jackman did a great job as Van Helsing, I can’t watch Tom Cruise screw up another movie. I am begging here, don’t remake this movie.

  • doesnt matter

    How about they keep that jerkhead cruise outta it, dont need another dam movie with him in it, many are tired of movies with him in it. There are plenty of FRESH YOUNG actors out there that can do it a hell of a lot better than him. Dont need no more clam worshipper movies

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  • Why do we need a reboot?

    I can’t see Tom Cruise as Van Helsing! He’ll just be Tom Cruise! Besides whoever takes on the role of Count Dracula will have to out ham Richard Roxbrough’s version. He may have been awful in it but he was awfully fantastic! lol Also agree that Van Helsing is not meant to be dark or gritty. It was supposed to be FUN. Lets keep it that way or just write a new movie of the character rather than reboot the Hugh Jackman/Richard Roxbrough version.

  • Anonymous

    I won’t see it if Tom Cruise is in it. He sux!

  • Isabel Johnston

    Oh God, please no. I think I might cry if they re do Van Helsing with Tom Cruise, he’s not that type of actor and he’d ruin it. Hugh Jackman was amazing in the original one, they should leave it alone. Of anything, they should make a sequel with Hugh Jackman.

  • Black Bolt

    I agree on staying with Hugh Jackman. I don’t think Tom Cruise should be associated. I would not see this movie. Why screw it up now that Hugh has his mark on it? Hugh is a far better actor than Tom. I can tell you right now that Tom would play up the Archangel gimmick. Cruise is too predictable. Cruise should just compute of the closet, already.

  • Andre Henderson

    Exactly some movies don’t need. Change in cast keep hugh AMD richard and make a sequel hmu on fb Andre Henderson