UPDATE: Sam Worthington has been confirmed as Proyas’ Dracula

Max Schreck, Béla Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Gary Oldman, Jack Palance and… Leslie Nielsen – those are just some of the actors who have all portrayed Dracula at some point throughout this last Century of movie making. And today we get word that leading-man-of-the-minute, Sam Worthington, is going to be joining that list.

Latino Review has the exclusive on the story that Sam Worthington is in line to play Dracula in Universal’s Dracula: Year Zero. There’s no official word on Worthington being in talks but Latino Review‘s trusted source “Pinche Taco” says the Aussie actor is supposed to be playing him.

I guess it’s no surprise that Worthington is in the running, as much like Ryan Reynolds or Robert Pattinson, you should pretty much expect that  their names are going to be attached to any big role that comes along. I’m sure this story of Worthington’s attachment will be proven true or false soon enough. Watch this space.

Dracula: Year Zero is set to be directed by Alex Proyas (Dark City, I, Robot, Knowing) and the script has been written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (who are both writing the Flash Gordon movie). The film is an original take on Dracula, telling the story of, “Vlad the Impaler, the Romanian royal who inspired Bram Stroker’s vampire tale. It centers on how Vlad became the creature; the choices that he made to make him into the tragic character.” From Bloody-Disgusting“It depicts Dracula as a flawed hero in a tragic love story set in a dark age of magic and war, repositioning him more as a vengeful hero than the monster seen in Bram Stoker’s classic novel.”

For what producer Michael De Luca had to say about the project – including what the story is and how big the scale is – you can head HERE to read what we reported on.

What would a new take on Dracula be like?

The project reportedly has a budget of over $100 million, which does seem like quite a lot for the type of film that it looks to be. Universal spent over $150 million on its new Wolfman movie (yowza!), but I imagine the special effects needed to create the actual Wolfman were much more costly than what you would need to put Dracula on-screen. Not unless they’re going for some CGI version of the bloodsucker…

Dracula: Year Zero is said to be one of eight films that Universal needs for 2011 and they currently have fourteen to choose from. With the success of the Twilight franchise, as well as vampires being popular on TV with True Blood and The Vampire Diaries, it’s no surprise Universal would want to choose the movie they already have a script and director for, which is about vampires. Recent attempts to bring Dracula to life have been unsuccessful with examples being Blade: Trinity (one of THE worst excuses for a vampire flick, never mind Dracula, I’ve ever seen) and Dracula: 2000 where Gerard Butler portrayed the character. Can Universal revive arguably the most famous horror character of all time and draw in audiences? We’ll have to wait and see.

Would you like to see Sam Worthington play Dracula? Are you looking forward to a new take on the character? And can the project play off of Twilight and become a success?

There’s no official release date set for Dracula: Year Zero but it looks to be slated for a release sometime in 2011.

Sources: Latino Review, ComingSoon and Bloody-Disgusting