BoxFly Pictures have optioned Stoker's Monster: Before Dracula, an original screenplay written by graphic novelist and screenwriter Tony Lee, based on a story co-created with Bram Stoker's great-grandnephew, Dacre Stoker.
With a setting inspired by actual events, Stoker's Monster is the tale of Bram Stoker's creation of one of the most famous literary villains of all time, and the sequence of events that led to it.
Set in New York City in early 1888, Stoker's Monster follows Bram Stoker, then the manager of Henry Irving's Lyceum Theatre Troop as they finish their U.S tour of Goethe's Faust, giving the film audience a story that not only mirrors the play the Lyceum cast perform, but also involves sudden and unexplainable deaths, mysterious figures, real-life theatre fires and ends with the Great Blizzard of 1888, that not only blocked out the sun for three days, but also claimed the lives of over two hundred people in New York alone, and named as one of the most severe recorded blizzards in the history of the United States of America.
With a cast of recognisable historical figures that were not only there at the time, but have also been claimed by historians as inspiration for many characters in Dracula, Stoker's Monster is a historical horror that also has a level of factual accuracy from Bram's own notes, provided by historian Dacre's family records.
"We first met with Tony and Dacre back in March, and we're excited to finally be able to announce this," said Haydn Pryce-Jenkins, Director of BoxFly. "The true events of 1888 add a chilling authenticity to the story, and the levels of research, both in setting and characters has been incredible."
It's not the first time that Dacre Stoker or Tony Lee have worked with Bram Stoker's creations – in 2009 Dacre co-wrote the New York Times Bestselling Dracula: The Un-Dead, the first 'official' sequel to Dracula for Penguin / Dutton Books with novelist Ian Holt, while Tony wrote From The Pages Of Bram Stoker's Dracula: Harker, an 'in canon' graphic novel sequel to Dracula, published by Markosia Publishing.
The option deal was brokered by Alison Finch of the London-based JFL Agency, on behalf of Tony Lee.