Bragi F. Schut's The Last Voyage of the Demeter screenplay has been kicked around Hollywood for the past decade. Filmmakers such as Robert Schwentke (RED), Marcus Nispel (Conan the Barbarian), Stefan Ruzowitzky (Anatomy) and David Slade (Twilight: Eclipse) have all either circled or been briefly attached to direct the Dracula project at different points in time.
Heat Vision is reporting that Neil Marshall has become the latest director to board Last Voyage of the Demeter (pun intended), with Millennium Films in line to back the project; Bradley Fischer, Mike Medavoy and Arnold Messer are attached to produce. Those three gentlemen have previously worked together on a handful of projects that constantly changed hands during development, but eventually proved to be worth all the sweat and tears (see: Zodiac, Shutter Island and Black Swan).
Schut's Last Voyage of the Demeter script is said to be told from the perspective of the doomed passengers onboard the eponymous vessel that transported Count Dracula from Transylvania to England, where the predominantly Russian crew is terrorized (and slaughtered) by the iconic vampire. (An approach similar to Ridley Scott's Alien and, to a lesser degree, Marshall's The Descent.) Coincidentally, the actress previously set to headline Last Voyage of the Demeter, Noomi Rapace, ended up passing on the stagnant project to go work on Scott's Alien prequel/spinoff, Prometheus.
With such bloody cult titles like Dog Soldiers, The Descent and Centurion under his belt, Marshall reads as a good fit to bring Last Voyage of the Demeter to the big screen (with little additional fuss). The filmmaker's involvement also suggests that this particular Dracula flick is now being fashioned as more of a low-budget, horror B-movie - similar to the last film scripted by Schut (Season of the Witch) - but perhaps more memorably gruesome and compelling, thanks to Marshall calling the shots.
That would distinguish Last Voyage of the Demeter from the pack of competing Dracula movies, including: Harker, Warner Bros.' "superhero" re-envisioning of the titular character; Dracula Year Zero, the Universal production that draws inspiration from the real life of Prince Vlad the Impaler; and the currently-untitled re-imagining of Dracula's origin story, as supervised by Alice in Wonderland and Snow White and the Huntsman producer Joe Roth.
We will continue to keep you posted on the status of The Last Voyage of the Demeter as more information is released.