One look at his IMDB page will show you that producer Mike De Luca is a busy guy. Some of the movies he is involved with include the Nicolas Cage films Ghost Rider 2 and Drive Angry, as well as the Alex Proyer-directed Dracula Year Zero. Recently, Steve Weintraub from Collider had the chance to talk to De Luca about all three of these upcoming features. We covered Steve's conversation with De Luca about Ghost Rider 2 last week, and today he posted the segment where De Luca opened up about the latter two films.
In the interview, De Luca promises that Drive Angry will be "hyper-pulpy" and definitely a "Hard R." He also goes into great detail on the unique plot of Dracula Year Zero. I have excerpted some of the best quotes, but I highly recommend checking out the full interview at Collider.
On the "pulpiness" of Drive Angry:
"It’s hyper pulpy. It’s kind of like hyper-pulp, just kind of blood drenched, heavy, heavy car chase action that if you’re a fan of early Shane Black scripts. If you’re a fan of from the 70’s Two Lane Blacktop or Vanishing Point and you’re a fan of Dust ‘Til Dawn or Sin City, this kind of like glorious exhiltation of pulp movie-making. It aspires to be in that cannon, so that’s my torch way of describing why I’m excited by it because I like all those things."
On the film's use of 3D:
"It's a Hard R...Car parts and body parts flying at you in 3-D...we’re not the high minded 3D of James Cameron. We’re the low 5, very fun, in your face kind of exploitation 3D."
De Luca also mentions that the cast isn't complete, identifying three important roles besides Nicolas Cage's protagonist. First there is a "young female lead" and then there is a "semi-antagonist" and "one true antagonist." De Luca didn't give any word on when those parts might be cast.
After talking about Drive Angry, De Luca moved on to Dracula Year Zero. Although the film still hasn't been greenlit for production, De Luca seemed very enthusiastic about its potential, calling the plot of the film "ingenious." He also says he is putting "a lot of time and attention" into the film to convince Universal to make it one of their big upcoming releases.
On the plot of the film (which mixes the historical Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, and the literary Dracula):
"It chronicles the efforts of a young prince, Vlad of Transylvania trying to keep the Ottoman empire and the Turk’s of the time from using his small country as a stepping stone to invade Europe...and to keep the Turkish army out of his country and keep their hands off his country’s children, which they want to kidnap and press into their army as something they used to call the Jannisserie core.
So in a moment of desperation he looks at this mountain top in Transylvania that all the gypsies in his country say is haunted and full of bad black magic. And he’s never believed in any of that supernatural kind of what he thinks is hogwash. But in a moment of desperation he ascends that mountain to see if there’s any truth to any kind of power that he could use to keep the invading army out. And he finds something that gets him to where we have come to know him as Dracula and uses that power source to kind of fight the Turks after he’s changed."
On the vampire movie trend, specifically Twilight, and finding the right angle for the film:
"I think vampires are endlessly appropriate candidates for reinvention because there’s something in the DNA in that mythology that appeals to every generation... For kids now it’s Twilight to the extent that Twilight kind of transcends vampire mythology because it’s also Romeo and Juliet and it’s also any love across the tracks... But I think it’s always right for reinvention and I think there’s something in the DNA of that myth that appeals to all demographics."
On the scale of the film:
As written it’s literally on the scale of Braveheart with Dracula, so it’s a lot of… it’s armies. It’s an invading Turkish army. It’s a lot of supernatural action. It’s wonderful. Like it’s an epic love story.
Personally, I think both of these films sound like they could be pretty decent. While I find Nicolas Cage's work to be pretty hit or miss, De Luca's description of Drive Angry, which sounds to me like Taken mixed with the best parts of Death Proof, is something I could get behind. Also, while I've had my fill of vampire movies lately, imagining a Dracula movie on the scale of Braveheart is pretty cool. If he can get Universal to green light the project, I'd be interested to see what director Alex Proyas could do with it.
What do you think? Do De Luca's insights make you any more excited about either of these films?