Authors Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus have been re-told, re-adapted and re-envisioned countless times in cinematic and television mediums for over a century now. As such, it seems fair that the current young generation (read: those who've been growing up in the early 21st century) will get movies versions of both to call their own next year in Fall 2014.
The previously-titled Dracula origin film - no relation to the upcoming TV series featuring Jonathan Rhys Meyers in what appears to be a Tudors-style version of Stoker's horror monster icon - is starring Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6) as the man who becomes the famous blood-thirsty creature of the night. Meanwhile, the new screen iteration of Frankenstein will be told from the perspective of Igor, as brought to life by
recovering former Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe.
Universal's Dracula origins project... uh, originated under the logical title Dracula: Year Zero - with Sam Worthington starring and Alex Proyas (Knowing) onboard to direct - before it was retitled simply Dracula, after director Gary Shore and screenwriters Matt Sazama and Burke Sharpless were hired on (all three gents are making their feature-length debut). Production is currently underway in Ireland, yet the film has been retitled once again and shall now be released in theaters next October as... Dracula Untold.
Year Zero was described as a sympathetic treatment of the Dracula character, and Evens suggested that Dracula Untold will carryover the same approach when he told Coming Soon "[The film is] about the man that became Dracula. Don't be too quick to think he's a bad guy." The cast, similar to the main creative team behind the scenes, is largely composed of rising talents who are on the verge of greater things, including Dominic Cooper (Fleming), Samantha Barks (Les Misérables) and Sarah Gadon (Amazing Spider-Man 2). Moreover, Dracula Untold could be a real showcase of Evans' leading man skills, following his memorable supporting turns in pop-literature/mythology films like Clash of the Titans, The Three Musketeers and Immortals.
Elsewhere, THR is reporting that Jessica Brown Findlay of Downton Abbey fame has been cast as the female lead in the 2014 film version of Frankenstein, as was adapted from Shelley's novel by Max Landis (Chronicle) and will be directed by Paul McGuigan (who's helmed multiple episodes on the BBC's popular Sherlock mini-series). Findlay will make her American feature debut earlier next year in the Winter's Tale adaptation starring Will Smith and Russell Crowe, before she appears opposite Radcliffe and his costar, young Charles Xavier (a.k.a. James McAvoy), in McGuigan's Gothic/Romantic horror/sci-fi film.
Findlay is going to play a trapeze artist who is saved during a trick-gone-wrong by Radcliffe as Igor, which leads the pair to grow closer even as the latter's master, Dr. Frankenstein (McAvoy), becomes increasingly unstable during the course of his quest to re-animate a human body composed of various... uh, parts from other corpses. The people collaborating on this Frankenstein retelling - on both sides of the camera - are reason enough to keep your eyes peeled and see how this one turns out.
Are you interested in one, neither or both of these classic monster retellings? Drop us a line in the comments section and let us know.
Dracula Untold opens in theaters on October 3rd, 2014, followed two weeks later by Frankenstein on October 17th.