Chloé Zhao, director of 2020’s Nomadland, recently made history for being the first Asian woman nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes, in addition to her screenplay nomination. However, she is not done in the slightest. In addition to her MCU film Eternals coming out at the end of the year, Universal has also tapped Zhao to reboot the infamous vampire Dracula.
This will be an incredibly different take on the typically capped vampire. The film will also most likely not be connected with the Luke Evans 2014 reboot Dracula: Untold.
Zhao is set to write, direct, and produce the film that is less focused on the Victorian or even the modern era versions of Dracula. According to THR, the film will be a futuristic science-fiction Western. Perhaps similar to Solo: A Star Wars Story. Though, this film will deal with the idea of an outsider, such as a vampire, in this setting.
Zhao saying, “I’ve always been fascinated by vampires and the concept of the Other they embody.” Especially in a more Western setting, the ideal vampire would stick out like a sore thumb. She is excited to work with “Universal to reimagine such a beloved character.”
While the Dark Universe was a pretty substantial failure, it seems Universal is open to allowing creatives to come with fresh takes on their monster characters. The Mummy felt like it was desperate to capture the Marvel Cinematic Universe, when they should have made a good Mummy movie first.
Zhao’s film is an original idea that can help propel a popular character such as Dracula into a new direction that Universal needs with their monster properties. This is precisely the type of project that Universal should be focused on. Not only bringing their monsters back to the screen, but doing it a way that is fresh, not just rehashed or similar to something popular today.
Another example of that was the reboot of The Invisible Man by Leigh Whannell. After the success of that film, right before lockdowns, Universal’s plan for the next batch of monsters is clear: Let creatives be creative.
It is unclear what is a part of the Dark Universe and what is simply just a rebooted monster movie and even if the Dark Universe is still around. However, if interested in the upcoming projects that include films from Elizabeth Banks, Dexter Fletcher, and Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the Fandom Dark Universe page is quite the interesting read.
There is no set production or release date for Dracula, but with Chloé Zhao attached it is something to keep an eye on.