This character may not be undead, but they’re certainly getting another life. Universal Pictures has cast its eye on a new Van Helsing adaptation, directed by Julius Avery (Overlord) with Aquaman’s James Wan on board as a producer.
It was first reported by Deadline and confirmed by the Hollywood Reporter that Universal Pictures was adding Van Helsing, the story of the legendary vampire hunter who went stake-to-heart with Dracula in Bram Stoker’s iconic tale, to its slate of upcoming monster movies. This comes on the heels of Blumhouse’s The Invisible Man starring Elisabeth Moss, which reignited Universal’s monster franchise earlier this year after the failure of its own Dark Universe.
Van Helsing is the latest in a string of approved monster movies for Universal, which abandoned its interconnected universe in favour of smaller, standalone films that use the studio’s classic horror characters. We’ve got Scarlett Johansson on board to possibly star in Bride of Frankenstein and Ryan Gosling is tapped to be the next Wolfman. In addition, there’s Paul Feig’s upcoming monster comedy Dark Army, a “Monster Mash” movie musical, and Lord and Miller’s “modern-day, tongue-in-cheek thriller” with ties to the monster world starring Channing Tatum. Funny enough, Tatum was previously poised to play Van Helsing back in 2017 — it’s unclear whether that could happen now, given how he’s now attached to another Universal project.
As far as what we can expect from this version of Van Helsing, Deadline reports that it could be a darker, more violent interpretation of the character than what we got in 2004’s movie starring Hugh Jackman. In my opinion, all they have to do is go full Logan and have Jackman reprise an older, grittier version of the character — as long as none of his co-stars have the same “Transylvanian” accent that Kate Beckinsale used. Come on, we need to be able to take this movie seriously.