new van helsing movie

Universal continues its quest to bring back characters from the classic Universal Monster movies. The latest is a new Van Helsing movie which, thankfully, won’t have anything to do with the terrible 2004 movie starring Hugh Jackman. This new Van Helsing comes from producer James Wan and director Julius Avery, who helmed Overlord. Van Helsing originated in Bram Stoker’s Dracula and has been played on screen by actors like Edward Van Sloan, Peter Cushing, Anthony Hopkins, and, yes, Hugh Jackman.

Deadline has the scoop on the new Van Helsing movie, reporting that Julius Avery is set to direct and James Wan will produce. Avery will also re-write a script previously written by Eric Pearson. Plot details are not available at this time, but it’s safe to assume the story will involve the character of Van Helsing hunting monsters. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Abraham Van Helsing is a Dutch doctor who is the first to realize that there’s a vampire on the loose.

In 2004, Universal tried to launch a whole Van Helsing franchise with Hugh Jackman playing a younger version of the character (renamed Gabriel Van Helsing for some dumb reason). While it wasn’t exactly a flop – it grossed $300.2 million worldwide – the overall reaction to the flick was so negative that Universal gave up on any plans for a sequel. Now, they’re going to try this again. And all I can say is: please don’t make this a generic action movie. Just because Van Helsing is known for hunting monsters doesn’t mean you have to turn him into an ass-kicker. This isn’t Indiana Jones.

This won’t be the first time Universal attempted to revive a Van Helsing movie after the Jackman film. In 2012 word broke that the studio was developing a new Van Helsing with Tom Cruise attached to star. Guillermo del Toro was also mentioned as a potential director. While that didn’t pan out, Cruise did go on to star in another Universal Monster reboot – The Mummy.

Released in 2017, The Mummy was supposed to be the start of an entire cinematic universe called Dark Universe, inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The plan was to create a series of interconnected monster movie reboots, and Universal put out a big announcement revealing that people like Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem were set to appear in eventual films. But The Mummy was a disappointment and Universal eventually gave up on the Dark Universe.

But the monsters would live to fight another day. Because the studio went back to the drawing board and hired Leigh Whannell to make The Invisible Man. The film received high praise from critics and hauled in $134 million worldwide against a $7 million budget. It also signaled a new start for the studio: instead of putting together a connected cinematic universe, Universal is now set to create standalone horror movies. Since The Invisible Man, a slew of projects have been announced: Invisible Woman from director Elizabeth Banks; the Dracula spin-off Renfield from director Dexter Fletcher; Paul Feig’s Dark Army, which is said to feature classic Universal monsters; The Monster Mash, which we don’t really know a whole lot about; a new take on The Wolfman starring Ryan Gosling and directed by Invisible Man filmmaker Leigh Whannell; and a recently announced untitled movie from producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller set to star Channing Tatum.

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