Dracula has a new master. The iconic vampire and Universal Monster will get a new film written, directed, and produced by Nomadland director Chole Zhao. This will also be a different take on the monster, as this version is reportedly "Zhao's version is described as an original, futuristic, sci-fi Western. Themes of being on society's fringes, something Zhao has tackled in her previous work, will course through the project's veins." Uhh, okay then. Here is what Zhao had to say about taking on Dracula: "I've always been fascinated by vampires and the concept of the Other they embody. I'm very excited to work with Donna, Peter, and the team at Universal to reimagine such a beloved character." The Hollywood Reporter had the news first.
Sigh. Couldn't She Just Do Dracula?
"Chloé's singular lens shines a light on stories of the overlooked and misunderstood," said Universal Pictures president Peter Cramer. "We are thrilled to be working with her as she reimagines one of the most iconic outsider characters ever created." Her film Nomadland was nominated for four Golden Globes yesterday, including Best Picture Drama, Best Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Actress Drama for Frances McDormand. She also is putting the finishing touches on Eternals for Marvel Studios as well.
I love her as a storyteller and filmmaker, but I wish she was keeping this more straightforward as a Dracula film. When someone describes a Dracula film as a "futuristic, sci-fi western," that sends my warning flags up. It sounds a little Van Helsing to me, and that is not a good thing. If there is anyone working right now, I would give the benefit of the doubt to though; it is Zhao. Here's hoping that she can bring her sharp eye and incredible storytelling to the project and change my mind.