Ok, so on your list of desired reboots, perhaps Van Helsing isn’t very high up there, but Transformers and Star Trek writers-turned-successful-producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci will be helping Universal resuscitate the only vampire hunter more famous than Abraham Lincoln.
In an interview with Crave Online to promote his directorial debut, the drama/comedy People Like Us that is due out Friday, Kurtzman talked about some of the preliminary discussions he and Orci have been having on how they want to interpret the character.
“Well, I don’t want to give away too much, because we are actually at the very beginning of talking about what to do with it. But I do feel like the Van Helsing that Anthony Hopkins plays in [Bram Stoker’s] Dracula is sort of the parody version of it, and the Van Helsing that Hugh Jackman played was obviously in a different place as well. I think that these kinds of movies have evolved a lot since then. You know, The Dark Knight was a major, major corner-turning moment in the way that genre and superhero stories could be told. Really grounded in reality. Really grounded in really cool things. That’s what I’d like to do without sacrificing the fantasy element. We aspired to do that as well on Trek, you know, keep it “real.” That’s such a different franchise than Batman, but that’s really what we wanted to do. And we’d love to do that with Van Helsing.”
Considering that the 2004 Stephen Sommers-directed Van Helsing was the opposite of “really grounded in reality,” it sounds like the character is headed in the right direction. It also doesn’t hurt to drop The Dark Knight — ever.
Best to pounce now, while audiences are still preoccupied with vampires, werewolves and other gothic creatures. Van Hesling made more than $300 million at the international box office back in the summer of 2004, so with a reasonable budget and/or some big stars in place, there could be a nice market for it.
Kurtzman and Orci will produce and write and Tom Cruise has been attached to play Van Helsing since early May when Kurtzman and Orci agreed to help the studio revitalize some of its stalled properties, including The Mummy.