It’s been awhile since we had a nice Dracula origin story, hasn’t it? One or two attempts have been made to tell a version of the Dracula narrative that incorporates some real history – like the whole bit about Vlad Dracula not actually being a vampire – with the more recognizable supernatural elements, but none of them have been too successful. The latest film to attempt a melding of historical fact and supernatural fiction is Dracula Untold, which has just released its first poster.
The film features Luke Evans (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) as Vlad, a young prince who only wants to protect his people and his homeland. This leads him down a dark and disturbing path, as we knew it would, and turns young Vlad into the nasty undead vampire we all know and love. The film purports to be a retelling of Bram Stoker’s original novel, but it sounds like it has a lot more to do with bringing the historical Vlad into the mix, and probably giving Dracula a bit of a semi-heroic makeover. Is the King of Vampires just a misunderstood fellow who did what he had to do? Probably.
The poster is quite pretty if somewhat Van Helsing-esque, featuring Vlad in full period get-up standing on a cliff with his Gothic castle prevalent in the background. His cape is transforming into a bunch of bats, though, recalling both Dracula’s shape-shifting abilities and another origin story known as Batman Begins. Hmm.
Universal has not had great success in turning its original monster franchises into new films. The Wolfman with Benicio Del Toro was somewhat enjoyable but failed at the box office and Van Helsing was a laugh riot. Only The Mummy had any legs, and even that series was later belied by films that gradually decreased in entertainment value. Will Dracula Untold be subjected to the same fate? Who knows. For Evans’s sake, I hope not.
Dracula Untold comes to theatres on October 17.