Casting for Dario Argento’s new Dracula 3D is underway, with Rutger Hauer reportedly signed on to play Van Helsing. Riding high from his Hobo with a Shotgun buzz, it looks like we’ll be seeing more of the Dutch actor who found fame as a replicant in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner back in the 80s.
According to a /Film report, Hauer will play the role of famous vampire hunter Van Helsing in Argento’s upcoming film. Hauer hasn’t aged as well as some in Hollywood, but kudos to him for going the non-cosmetically altered route. Besides his au naturel look, Hauer can still command some attention on screen. Over the last couple of years he has regularly popped up in smaller roles, but the recent success of Hobo with a Shotgun at some notable film festivals (and it will be showing at Austin’s SXSW next month too) has garnered a decent amount of buzz.
Before we discuss the relevancy of yet another Dracula film version, let’s focus on Argento’s cinematic history. Argento horror films aren’t what they used to be. The horror-on-hallucinogens like 70s cult classic Suspiria wasn’t long lasting. Argento hasn’t been able to re-capture the success of that witchy tale, and like so many of his movies this new Dracula 3D could be another mediocre acting vehicle for daughter Asia Argento. I bet she’ll be in it (though only Hauer has been attached thus far) as the character of Lusty Wench or Bride of Dracula.
I guess we’ll be able to say more about the story and probability of success as production gets underway this May. I can say that making another Dracula is either a move of inspiration or desperation. Inspiration in that Hollywood and America is vampire crazy right now. Desperation in that Dracula is a tried and tested vampire tale that has withstood the test of time, and a myriad of really bad film adaptations. A warning to Mr. Argento: filming Dracula in 3-D isn’t going to save it if it sucks.