Tentpole production company Legendary Pictures has been a headline hog in the past few months, splitting away from former long-term partner Warner Bros. to team up with Universal Pictures for the next five years. Then they jumped ship from Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel to orbit around Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. With that dust settled, Variety now reports they’ve now set their sights on Gary Shore’sDracula to be the first film they co-finance with Universal. All of a sudden, my expectations for the size of this movie have grown exponentially. Now I’m guessing that Dracula is going to be a 60-foot-tall robot.
The paperwork has yet to be signed on the deal, and it’s a strange time to hop on board the project given that Dracula is already filming. The set design and CGI are probably going to be extreme now. But seriously, something had better be extreme about this project, given its complete uselessness in a world where a thousand movies about Dracula already exist. There’s also Dario Argento version coming out soon, not to mention NBC’s upcoming series. But if Legendary is willing to put their money towards the project they must feel like it has potential.
Legendary founder Thomas Tull is also cautiously interested in taking on the semi-reboot Jurassic Park 4, a film that would not be out of place in Legendary’s clutches. They’re currently still locked in with Warner Bros. for the Godzilla reboot, and nothing goes better with fire-breathing lizards than modern-day dinosaurs. Before they decide on whether or not they want to co-finance Jurassic Park 4, however,Tull is waiting to see a finalized script, along with other elements of the project. It’s this hesitance which further makes me think they must have really enjoyed Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama’s screenplay for Dracula.
The horror flick is said to be just as much the story of Prince Vlad the Impaler as much as it is a rendition of Bram Stoker’s classic novel. There are many ways this project can work, and since Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 version was the last time we got a really extravagant version of the story, it wouldn’t have too work hard to be different from the plethora of vampire flicks that have come out over the last 20 years.
Legendary still has Noam Murro's 300: Rise of an Empire and Guillermo Del Toro’s upcoming horror Crimson Peak lined up with Warners, but they the studio took Sergey Bodrov’s fantasy adventure Seventh Son with them in the move. They’re also producing the Michael Mann-directed action flick Cyber, as well as feature adaptations of video games Warcraft and Mass Effect. Add in the spooky action film Spectral, the comic book adaptation Brilliance and Nolan's Interstellar and you have what appears to be an impressive slate of upcoming features lined up.
Dracula is set for release on August 8, 2014.