With movie projects dying out left and right, it only makes sense that some aborted ideas would be resurrected. Hence, “Dracula Year Zero,” a dopily titled period piece about Prince Vlad, the noble-but-doomed hero who later became known as Vlad the Impaler, and later
Blacula Dracula. Originally, Sam Worthington was set to star for director Alex Proyas. However, the “Dark City” helmer abandoned the film to take on the now-dead “Paradise Lost,” ostensibly taking Worthington with him, and setting the stage for newbie director Gary Shore to adopt the project from a new script by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless.
Who is Gary Shore? Still unknown to the industry at large, he was snapped up by Universal when his samurai short, “The Cup of Tears,” went viral. Shore’s still attached to a feature-length version of that short for the studio, though they plan on keeping him in-house. Shore’s experience lies mostly in commercials, though he was apparently one of the frontrunners for the job helming “The Wolverine.” While he had much less experience than his competitors for that project, it didn’t stop him from making his own short to convince Fox of his passion. In other words, he knows working with a schedule, he’s aggressive, and he knows effects. In Hollywood, this sort of thing always trumps having an original story to tell, since it seems clear his visual style is aping any number of industry Zack Snyder-ites.
Like several recent projects, the doors on the original ‘Year Zero’ were shuttered because the budget was too high. Going from industry vet Proyas to newcomer Shore suggests that the scope of this film has shrunk considerably. We’ll see what happens during the next round of casting, because we doubt anyone of note is going to pick up Worthington’s sloppy seconds. [Deadline]