'Dracula: Year Zero' Crawls Back Out Of The Grave At Universal

In an age of competing projects, we should expect to see this sort of thing happen a lot more often. Earlier today we talked about the fact that Warner Bros. might be looking to Russell Crowe to star in Harker, Jaume Collet-Serra's revamped take on Dracula.

So what does Universal do? The studio, which really has a certain claim to Dracula given the 1931 version (or the two '31 versions if you take the Spanish-language one into account) has taken the old project Dracula: Year Zero out of mothballs. The film has lain dormant since a version with Alex Proyas directing Sam Worthington was scrapped thanks to an escalating budget.

The only key detail we have now is that Michael De Luca will continue to produce, and now Gary Shore will direct. (He's the commercial and music video director who made this Wolverine trailer.) No word on cast yet, but Sam Worthington isn't involved, says Deadline.

If we turn back the clock a couple years, we can find this interview with Collider where De Luca expanded on the story:

...these writers came up with the ingenious-what I think is ingenious-approach combining historical Dracula with Bram Stoker's Dracula. So it chronicles the efforts of a young prince, Vlad of Transylvania trying to keep the Ottoman empire and the Turk's of the time from using his small country as a stepping stone to invade Europe. So there's a historical basis for all of that history that's in the script, but when his back is up against the wall and he can't figure out how to keep the Turkish army out of his country and keep their hands off his country's children, which they want to kidnap and press into their army as something they used to call the Jannisserie core, I guess the Roman's did a version of it also, but this taking of male children from host countries and pressing them into military service for the invading army is another thing he's trying to prevent. Because his own son is being threatened with that kidnapping. And in the script that we have, he was actually a victim of it himself. He earned the reputation of being the impaler while he was serving the Turks.

(I've used the poster for Hammer's Dracula Has Risen From the Grave as the header image purely because of the semi-appropriate title. The two films have nothing to do with one another.)