Next month's Dracula Untold tells the story of how Vlad Tepes (brought to life by Luke Evans) goes from being an ordinary, well-meaning, man of the 15th century to the eponymous, blood-thirsty monster that everyone knows.
The film is a re-invention of the Dracula character (and the larger metaphor behind him), as featured in Bram Stoker's famous novel - a re-imagining that may launch not just a new series of Dracula films, but perhaps also a Shared Monster Movie Universe (in the best-case scenario). First, though, Dracula Untold will need to present a compelling portrait of the man who will become Dracula, and a newly-released featurette (watch it above) highlights that key aspect of the film.
Evans has been a standout supporting player in multiple blockbusters at this stage, but between Dracula Untold and this December's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - which pushes Evans' character, Bard the Bowman, further into the spotlight - we'll soon find out how he does playing the lead. So far, going by trailer footage, Evans appears to hold his own perfectly well in the role of Vlad/Dracula, while director Gary Shore (in his feature-length debut) is poised to deliver a stylishly-realized blockbuster refashioning of the Dracula mythos.
Will Dracula Untold have a brain to go with its good looks? Well, that's a fair question, seeing how the film's writers - Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless - are, like Shore, untested in the tentpole arena. Dracula Untold so far appears to be smart enough for its purposes, being a movie that refits a supernatural horror icon for a modern historical action/epic (more than this past January's I, Frankenstein, anyway). We'll see how the actual movie turns out, though.
As for Universal's other monster movie plans, the studio has Alex Kurtzman (writer/producer on the recent Star Trek movies and cult TV show Fringe, among other properties) onboard to direct a reboot of The Mummy cinematic franchise for a Summer 2016 release. Meanwhile, the Fargo TV series showrunner, Noah Hawley, is writing a yet to be revealed monster film reboot (possibilities include The Wolfman, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and so on).
That is to say: even if Dracula Untold is a bust, it shouldn't be too difficult for Universal to sweep it under the rug and press on with its plans to fully reboot its Shared Monster Movie Universe. If Dracula Untold is a hit then, well, the studio will have a newly-established Dracula all ready to go.
Dracula Untold opens in U.S. theaters on October 10th, 2014.
Source: Universal Pictures [via JoBlo]