Dracula Year Zero Lives Again; Gary Shore in Talks to Direct
02.12.12 by BJSprecher
With studios dumping so many high-profile movie projects lately — this past week alone, Legendary Pictures pulled the plug on Paradise Lost and Columbia Pictures and Screen Gems dumped The Boys and The Mortal Instruments, respectively — it's kind of refreshing to hear that a once-dead movie project is getting new life. According to Deadline, Universal Pictures has revived Dracula Year Zero and is currently in negotiations with short film and commercial director Gary Shore to helm the movie, which focuses on Vlad "The Impaler" Tepes, the real-life Romanian Prince of Wallachia whose title "Dracula" ("Son of the Dragon") became synonymous with vampires following the publication of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel of the same name.
Dracula Year Zero was close to going into production in 2010 under the direction of Alex Proyas (I, Robot), with Sam Worthington, hot off of his starring role in Avatar, playing Dracula. Proyas ended up dropping Dracula Year Zero for the ill-fated Paradise Lost adaptation, but when he was still attached he said that the screenplay by neophyte screenwriters Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless is what enticed him to take on the project, particularly how it focused on how Vlad Tepes became "this creature...this tragic character" that we have all come to associate with vampires.
Producer Michael De Luca described the movie as a "huge passion project" of his, and said that he was not worried about moviegoers becoming tired of vampires because the undead bloodsuckers are "endlessly appropriate candidates for reinvention" that appeal "to every generation." According to Deadline, Sazama and Sharpless have turned in a new draft of the screenplay, which we can only assume is more in line with the amount of money that Universal wants to commit to the movie.