Breck Eisner to Direct "Jack the Ripper vs. Dracula" Movie
06.16.10 by Ryan
Since Breck Eisner's The Crazies remake entered theaters, Eisner — whose previous work included the 2005 dud Sahara — has become the go-to genre director, lining up an Escape From New York remake as well as a remake of 1980's Flash Gordon. Eisner isn't done, either.
The busy director is looking to add yet another genre project to his schedule, and this one isn't a remake. Eisner has his eyes on Mark Wheatley's Insight Studios comic book Blood of the Innocent.
Wheatley described the book as "Dracula versus Jack the Ripper" to FEARnet, and admitted that Eisner may start work on the project sooner than later.
Flash Gordon is scheduled for 2012 now, I think. Escape from New York is the one he's actively working on right now. He's trying to make Blood of the Innocent the picture he does after Escape. He and the writer have been working on the pitch. The writer, Bill Marsilii, has been working on the pitch now for almost a year. But Breck came on board, I think, back in February. And so the two of them met several times and honed the pitch and worked out a "live" version of the pitch. [Laughs.] The two of them put that two-person act on the road and they've been going around to the various studios making the pitch. Bill's got a pretty impressive credits list himself. Right now he's working on a thing called Lightspeed, for [producer] [Jerry] Bruckheimer. He's writing that. And he's written the script for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It was going to be made until [director] McG came on board, then it suddenly evaporated.
Wheatley credits Marsilii as the person who has energized the Blood of the Innocent project.
Bill really likes period pieces — that's why he had worked on 20,000 Leagues. He just went nuts over it, and he gave me a call and we talked several times about various ideas. I was actually very impressed; because the first time we talked we were just sounding each other out. But after that, as we talked, I began to realize that gradually he was surpassing me in knowledge about the story. Because he was going out and doing a tremendous amount of research about the time period. So the thing that makes the story work — and this, by the way is research done by Rickey Shanklin, my writing partner on the book — is that the events that take place in [Bram] Stoker's Dracula, date by date, mesh perfectly with the Jack the Ripper murders. That was the core of what started us off on doing the story. But Bill brought some new ideas to it, and it's pretty interesting to me, because if you read the pitch, he's kept all the action of our book, every single beat. But he changed the intent of one character, Jack the Ripper. And completely transformed the impact of the book, really improving it.
Blood of the Innocent is currently seeking studio backing. If Eisner and Marsilii can't find any studio interest — which seems unlikely since the movie does have at least one vampire in it — Eisner has also been linked to a remake of David Cronenberg's The Brood.