Benedict Cumberbatch Reportedly Eyed To Play Dracula In Universal Monster Movie

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Inspired in part by 15th-century Wallachian Prince Vlad the Impaler, Count Dracula first appeared as the prototypical vampire in Bram Stoker’s 1897 epistolary novel Dracula. Alternately played on film over the last century by, among others, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr. Christopher Lee, Gary Oldman, Gerard Butler and Dominic Purcell, the character was most recently portrayed by Luke Evans in Gary Shore’s 2014 dark fantasy original story Dracula Untold, which was intended to be the first installment of the interconnected Dark Universe franchise of horror films.

After it earned less than anticipated though, the franchise was rebooted in 2017 with Tom Cruise’s The Mummy, which suffered an equally underwhelming performance that prompted Universal to abandon its plans for a shared cinematic monsterverse and shift its attention to individual remakes of those classic characters, beginning with Leigh Whannell’s 2020 adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel The Invisible Man.

Now, we’re hearing from our sources – the same ones who informed us that Paramount is rebooting the Transformers franchise and that a fifth Lethal Weapon movie is in the works with Danny Glover and Mel Gibson, both of which have been confirmed – that Universal is eyeing English actor Benedict Cumberbatch to take on the role in Dexter Fletcher’s forthcoming project Renfield, which is said to feature a comedic story about lunatic asylum patient R. M. Renfield, who falls under Dracula’s control.

Coincidentally, Cumberbatch isn’t the only actor currently being eyed to play the character, with Marvel Studios reportedly interested in bringing back former Blade star Wesley Snipes to appear as their latest version of Dracula opposite Mahershala Ali’s new incarnation of the Daywalker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But that’s obviously an entirely separate project.

Cumberbatch most recently appeared in Sam Mendes’s Academy Award-winning World War I film 1917, and will next appear as British spy Greville Wynne in Dominic Cooke’s Cold War effort Ironbark, which debuted at last month’s Sundance Film Festival. He’d certainly be an inspired and exciting choice to play Dracula in Universal’s upcoming monster flick, but we’ll just have to wait and see if he accepts the gig or not.

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