The Mummy may have seen the Dark Universe fail spectacularly and implode entirely at the very first hurdle, but that doesn’t mean Universal are going to stop trying to reinvent their classic library of monsters for modern audiences. The studio is now focusing on a smaller-scale, more director-driven approach, which reaped huge benefits when Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man scored critical acclaim and earned over $125 million at the box office against a $7 million budget, a number that would have likely been much higher if it wasn’t for the Coronavirus.
There are already countless projects in the works, including Paul Feig’s Dark Army, Elizabeth Banks’ Invisible Woman and Dexter Fletcher’s Renfield that look set to bring the Universal Monsters back from the brink of obscurity, while it was also announced last month that Karyn Kusama would be the latest filmmaker to have a crack at making a Dracula movie.
While virtually nothing is known about the Count’s latest big screen outing at this stage, it’s been confirmed that it’ll follow The Invisible Man’s lead and be a modern re-telling of the classic story, presumably in an attempt to distance itself as far as possible from 2014’s dark and gritty reboot Dracula Untold, which a lot of people have probably forgotten even existed anyway.
Countless actors have played Dracula over the years, of course, but very few of them have managed to attain iconic status, with Bela Lugosi still the name most people think of, even though he last appeared as the character in 1948’s Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. However, Sebastian Stan, who recently worked with Kusama on Destroyer, has already thrown his hat into the ring to play the title role.
“I already emailed her about that. I said, ‘You know I’m from Romania, right?’ and she goes, ‘Yes, yes, it’s very early, and there’s a pandemic. Hopefully, we’ll see you in four years’. I would love to keep finding projects with her, projects that kind of push you in a different direction.”
No offense to Sebastian Stan, but just because he’s Romanian and worked with the director before, doesn’t mean he’d be a great choice to lead Dracula. The actor is fine in certain parts, but hasn’t really shown anything to demonstrate he’d be capable of delivering one of the all-time great turns as the character, and what cinema’s favorite vampire is in desperate need of is someone who can truly embody the role. After all, his recent history is littered with nothing but forgettable performances.