There was a period of time where it seemed like half a dozen Dracula re-tellings or “re-imaginings” were going to flood theaters by either this year or 2014, but the only related project – based on Bram Stoker’s supernatural horror masterpiece – currently making steady progress forward is NBC’s small-screen adaptation, which features Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the ‘Prince of Darkness.’

Universal restarted development on the Dracula origin story – which was formerly known as Dracula Year Zero – back in 2012, after the project had spent the previous couple years collecting dust while original star Sam Worthington (Avatar, Wrath of the Titans) and director Alex Proyas spent their time and effort working on different movies, including the defunct Paradise Lost adaptation.

Heat Vision is reporting that Year Zero has gained a new leading man, in the form of the increasingly popular Luke Evans (who will headline a mainstream Hollywood production for the first time). It’s also developing under the title of Dracula, now that it has less direct competition to stand apart from; not to mention, that title is more ready to market and doesn’t have the cheap ring of, say, Dracula 3D.

Here is THR‘s description of the story:

The script tells of a young prince who, when the lives of his wife and child are put in danger by a bloodthirsty sultan, risks his soul to save them, and in the process becomes the first vampire.

Evans, as mentioned before, has shown up all the over place these past two years, often delivering memorable supporting performances in otherwise forgettable Hollywood fare (Clash of the Titans, The Raven) and stylish, if empty, retellings of famous stories (The Three Musketeers, Immortals). Point being, Evans has earned the chance to anchor a possible franchise-starter, and his star-meter will continue to rise in the meantime thanks to his roles as the villain in Fast & Furious 6 and Bard the Bowman in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug this year.

Dracula is based on a script from Matt Sazama and Burke Sharpless – two relative unknowns who’ve contributed to writing on projects stuck in early development like a Flash Gordon movie and a second Clue board game adaptation – and will be directed by Gary Shore, a commercial helmer who left a strong impression a while back with the demo reel for a visually-splendiforous ‘300 meets Zhang Yimou’s Hero‘ Samurai epic known as The Cup of Tears (you can watch it HERE).

Point being, everyone from the star to the filmmakers working behind the scenes on this new interpretation of Dracula has something to prove; however, their lack of experience could end up being a double-edged sword. There’s certainly promise here, so I for one will be keeping my fingers crossed that something good comes from all this.

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Dracula has been officially green-lit, with the intent of getting production started by this year. As always, we’ll keep you updated on the situation.

Source: THR