With super hero films on the rise, every studio is scrambling to see what genre-ready brands they can leverage in a similar way. Universal Pictures doesn’t have the rights to DC or Marvel comic properties (it appears that Namor is not quite theirs either), so what does the studio own? The classic monster movies of the ’30s and ’40s, including Dracula, the Wolfman, The Mummy, were all released under Universal’s imprimatur. So of course there’s a plan to to connect them all together in one cinematic universe a la Marvel (because no one in that town has any original ideas anymore and even Dan Aykroyd wants to do the same thing with “Ghostbusters”). Alex Kurtzman (“Star Trek,” the “Amazing Spider-Man” series) and Chris Morgan (“Fast Five“) have already been tapped to write, produce and get the Universal Monsters cinematic universe up and running. But where does that leave “Dracula Untold,” an origin story that Universal is releasing later this year?
The film likely will be completely separate, although it probably depends on how it does at the box office. and perhaps it’ll still burnish the brand for what’s to come. In the meantime, the “untold” story of Dracula stars Luke Evans (“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”) as Vlad himself, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper and more. Here’s the official synopsis:
From Universal Pictures, once the home for literature’s most horrifying characters, ‘Dracula Untold’ stars Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Diarmaid Murtagh and Samantha Barks. The story is a mix of mythology and history as it follows the story of Vlad III Țepeș (Evans), the inspiration for the Dracula character popularized by Bram Stoker’s novel.
Directed by Gary Shore, whose only other published credit is as the director of the short “The Draft,” —”made in the spirit of the old 1950’s sci-fi B-Movies”— this latest Dracula iteration opens October 10th in the U.S. and a few days earlier on October 3rd in the U.K. Watch two new clips from the movie below. Suffice to say you’re probably not surprised to hear it didn’t debut at a film festival this year.