Notorious monster-hunter Gabriel Van Helsing is back in vogue. Barely a week has passed since we brought you the news that Syfy had acquired a gender-swapped treatment of the title mercenary for an all-new TV series and the long-gestating film reboot, simmering in development over at Universal, has recruited Jon Spaihts and Eric Heisserer to pen a screenplay.
Word comes by way of Variety, noting that the proposed film will dovetail with the studio’s ambitious shared monster universe, which will house such nightmarish creations as Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, the Invisible Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Wolf Man. It’s unclear yet how the titular mercenary will be integrated into the interconnected movie-verse, though the outlet suggests that cracking that degree of synergy is still being mapped out.
First introduced in Bram Stoker’s seminal Dracula, Van Helsing was adapted to the big screen in 2004, placing X-Men alum Hugh Jackman in the hot seat as the cocksure and fearless killer. It fared poorly at the box office and within critical circles alike, scuppering any plans for a potential franchise. But now, Universal has wagered that enough time has passed to welcome back Stoker’s creation for a new generation.
Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan will assume producing duties for Universal, and it’s this pair that will serve as the crux of the monster universe, drawing up narrative crossovers and the like over the next half-decade or so. In the vein of Marvel and even Paramount’s writer’s room for Transformers, Jon Spaihts and Eric Heisserer will have a hand in numerous projects under the one umbrella, and the former already has a writing credit on The Mummy.
Universal’s The Mummy will jump-start Universal’s grand plan for a shared monster universe in 2017, with standalone features for Dracula, the Wolf Man and now Van Helsing all poised to hit the silver screen shortly thereafter.