Professor Abraham Van Helsing first appeared in Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic horror Dracula novel. A well-educated doctor and scientist, his character is now best known as a vampire hunter and archenemy to Dracula featured in several movie adaptations.
Van Helsing’s legacy continues with a new Syfy series set to begin filming in January 2016. The new show will follow Van Helsing’s daughter Vanessa Helsing, who awakens after resurrection to a world overrun with vampires. Following in her father’s footsteps, she leads the resistance movement to hunt them down and reclaim the world for humanity.
TheWrap reports that the new show will be shot in Vancouver and written by Neil LaBute (Billy & Billie, Death at a Funeral), who will also serve as showrunner. The veteran playwright/writer/director has made it clear that he’s all in for this new spin on a classic story, which promises to challenge “traditional vampire rules”:
“I am extremely excited to be working with Syfy and Nomadic Pictures to create a unique, character-driven action series that will move the traditional vampire tropes into bold and unexpected new territories. This is a wonderful chance for us to forge great stories and unforgettable characters and throw them into a world where the stakes–both dramatic and personal–are tremendously high.”
The original Van Helsing has been portrayed on the big screen by Anthony Hopkins in the 1992 film Dracula, and earned his own vehicle in 2004’s Van Helsing. The latter film, starring Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale, got a critical drubbing but grossed $300 million worldwide.
Recent successful vampire TV series like True Blood and The Vampire Diaries have focused on the point of view of the vampires, so returning to the hunter mentality in the genre (with the upcoming Van Helsing series) could be a refreshing shift in itself. Since this is being categorized as a character-driven series, it will be intriguing to see if the stories revolve exclusively around Helsing herself and members of the resistance, or if we’ll also get a look into the psyche of the monsters they battle against.
Blending the vampire genre with an apocalypse-level struggle for survival increases the potential for big action sequences, but hopefully we’ll see Vanessa using some brilliant scientific knowledge that she inherited from her father. With the cancellation of Syfy shows like Haven, there’s room for the new Van Helsing series when it premieres on the channel.
We’ll bring you more information on Syfy’s Van Helsing series as it becomes available.