2012's Hotel Transylvania went through many, many directors before Gendy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Laboratory, Popeye) settled in on the project and injected it with his own unique aesthetic and visual humor. Had it not been for Tartakovsky's intervention, the comedy about a hotel for monsters run by Dracula could have so easily become just another forgettable flick, relying more on its recognizable cast of voices than an engaging premise or interesting designs.
The final product was a bit of a mixed bag, however, the unfortunate after-effect of too many ideas left undeveloped from previous overhauls of the script (read our review). Still, Hotel Transylvania went on to earn $254 million worldwide and was generally well-received by audiences. It was enough to earn the film a sequel, and this time with Tartakovsky as (thankfully) its only director.
Where Hotel Transylvania explored the relationship between Drac (Adam Sandler) and his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), Hotel Transylvania 2 will continue the generational trend by introducing Drac's father, Vlad. The curmudgeonly, centuries-old vampire will be voiced by legendary writer/director/actor, Mel Brooks, and his arrival will create chaos for the hotel, its regulars, but mostly for Drac, Mavis, and her human boyfriend, Jonathan (Andy Samberg).
Speaking with USA Today, producer Michelle Murdocca says of Vlad:
"He actually lives in a cave — he is about as old school as it gets. So when he comes and sees that Dracula is running a hotel, he's like, 'What is going on here?'"
Vlad is all about tough love, with Brooks adding, "He doesn't treat Dracula with a lot of respect and they're often at odds. It makes for some wonderful comedy" - something the 88-year-old knows a thing or two about.
Having made such horror-comedy classics as Young Frankenstein, Brooks is no stranger to that Transylvanian accent either.
"I had that with me. And I didn't have to make it older because I'm almost 100, so I played it out of my own voice. That Middle-European Transylvanian sound is sweet, it's cute, and if you believe in vampirism, it's correct."
Brooks also helped inform the design for Vlad, which was originally more menacing and scary, but after his suggestions the animators opened his eyes and made him appear a little friendlier. "Actually, it's like a little bit of Mel coming through," says Murdocca. "You can see that warm guy in there behind this exterior of old, leathery spookiness."
Check out Vlad as well as Drac, Mavis, Jonathan, Frank (Kevin James), Eunice (Fran Drescher), Wayne Werewolf (Steve Buscemi) and Murray the Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key) in the first images from Hotel Transylvania 2 below.
What do you think of the casting of Mel Brooks as the vampire Vlad in Hotel Transylvania 2? Are you looking forward to this sequel? Sound off in the comments below!
Hotel Transylvania 2 will release on September 25th, 2015.
Source: USA Today