At one time, Universal Pictures tried to develop a new film focusing on the famous monster hunter Van Helsing with director Guillermo del Toro and Tom Cruise starring. The character best known as the nemesis of Count Dracula in multiple installments from Hammer Films played by Star Wars actor Peter Cushing. More recently played by Anthony Hopkins in Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula from 1992 and Hugh Jackman in the less scary Van Helsing adventure film from 2004.
Back in 2015, Universal then attempted to developed another reboot from screenwriters Jon Spaihts (Dune, Prometheus) and Eric Heisserer (Bloodshot, Arrival, Lights Out). This took place when the studio was assembling their Universal Monsters franchise called Dark Universe, which crumbled after the misstep of The Mummy reboot starring Tom Cruise flopped at the box office.
Deadline has an update on the project that will see James Wan’s production company Atomic Monster getting involved along with Overlord director Julius Avery now attached for the horror reboot. They also mention that a new script was penned by Eric Pearson (Black Widow, Thor: Ragnarok, Godzilla vs Kong, Agent Carter) that will now get rewrites from Avery.
Julius had once been attached to direct a reboot of Flash Gordon for 20th Century before the the merger with Disney led to the project’s demise.
Fellow Australian director Leigh Whannell (Upgrade) was tapped to reboot The Invisible Man with help from Blumhouse Productions and is now working on a new Wolfman movie that will star Ryan Gosling (Blade Runner 2049, Drive). There is a Dracula movie in the works from director Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body, Destroyer) with other more comedic projects in various stages of development.
They had also been trying to reboot both Bride of Frankenstein and Creature From The Black Lagoon.
It’ll be interesting to see if Universal will want to make an R-rated film given the graphic nature of vampires to begin with and making PG-13 movies with vampires tend to be toothless concerning the horror angle being hindered without the use of blood/gore. I’m slightly curious if Avery’s film will be connected to Karyn’s Dracula film.