Dracula, Bram Stoker’s gothic novel of the late nineteenth century has served as fertile feeding ground for many a genre filmmaker to draw from. In Stoker’s novel, Count Dracula is a sinister, patriarchal presence that threatens and corrals the women around him, notably including his three young, nubile, and undead mistresses.
The Brides of Count Dracula serve a decidedly unsettling purpose in the novel as deadly sirens, but on film and television their role has up to now been in the service of the title character. But what would the women look like if they hadn’t been killed by Professor Abraham Van Helsing at the end of the novel; what if they survived the end of Stoker’s narrative and were still alive today?
Enter Brides, a new gothic soap drama from playwright, screenwriter, and comic book writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and top TV producer Greg Berlanti, the team behind Riverdale, which has just landed a deal to shoot its pilot episode with NBC. The new show is primed to deliver a sexy reimagining of the three characters originally created by Stoker as they might appear in modern day New York City: As a trio of independent, self-sufficient, and empowered women, supporting their very own non-traditional family. The project is attached to Warner Bros. studio’s Berlanti Productions, with Aguirre-Sacasa, Berlanti, and in-house associate Sara Schechter executive producing.
Aguirre-Sacasa (who is also the Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics) has an extensive narrative background and body of work to pull from, including brief stints on HBO’s Big Love and Glee on FOX, in addition to adapted works of fiction, such as the scripts for the Carrie remake and the Broadway-bound stage musical adaptation of American Psycho. Likewise, Berlanti is a preeminent talent to team-up with, as the powerhouse producer already has six shows slated to air come Fall 2015, including the CBS newcomer Supergirl, his Arrow/The Flash spin-off series Legends of Tomorrow on the CW, and Blindspot which will also air on NBC. The two obviously know how to handle complicated and thematically ambitious work, which should serve them well in adapting the psycho-sexual politics at play in their new project’s source material.
After such recent debacles seen in Francis Ford Coppola’s confused epic Bram Stoker’s Dracula in 1992 and more recently in the grossly misinterpreted action movie Van Helsing starring Hugh Jackman, Stoker’s Transylvanian creatures of the night are due for a proper modern interpretation. If NBC plays their cards right, the new series from Aguirre-Sacasa and Berlanti could play to popular tastes and a rising cultural demand for three-dimensional and well-rounded roles for leading women.
Even if the program doesn’t live up to the pedigree of its creative talent, at least there will be another reason to keep watching stories about vampires (provided you’re still into that kind of thing).
Screen Rant will keep you posted as more information becomes available regarding Brides.