As properties such as “True Blood” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” forge a new path into bloody silliness, it’s been a spell since any grounded, literary-based portrayals of vampire mythology have hit the screen, with a few notable exceptions. Luckily though, one of the contemporary horror genre’s leading directors, Neil Marshall, will tackle Dracula for his latest film, and now he’s eyeing a leading man certainly known for his gravitas.
Bloody Disgusting reports Viggo Mortensen has been offered the lead role of Henry Clemens in the sea-set “The Last Voyage of the Demeter,” the latest draft of which was written by Lowell Cauffiel. Instead of another sprawling remake of Bram Stoker’s work though, Marshall will instead focus in on the novel’s middle section aboard a Russian ship, the Demeter, where Dracula feasts on crewmembers one by one during the voyage from Transylvania to England. Told via scraps from cabin diaries and an investigation, it certainly lends itself well to a nail-biting suspense film, one that recalls “Alien” in its ominous threat introduced to close quarters. And while it’s unknown whether Mortensen will portray Dracula or simply a passenger, even if the film ends up more in the realm of Dario Argento‘s latest abomination “Dracula 3D,” it’s a good bet at least Mortensen’s performance — should he take the role — will be impressive.
The project has been kicking around for a while and at one point was going to be directed by David Slade with Noomi Rapace and Ben Kingsley starring; the latter is apparently still attached to play the ship’s captain and Rapace “may” star as Anna Billington, but we’ll have to see. ‘Demeter’ has been in the works for nearly a decade, with Summit/Screen Gems starting the project up around 2004, but it was only back in May that Marshall’s name was attached. If Mortensen signs on, you can bet he will give the movie the boost it needs, but we’ll see as he’s also committed to reteaming with his pal David Cronenberg for “Eastern Promises 2.”