The Last Voyage of the Demeter

The Last Voyage of the Demeter, a movie set during the events of Dracula, has been in some stage of development for seventeen years. We’re talking almost two decades here, people. I distinctly remember hearing about this project all those years ago and assuming it had long since died. But like Dracula himself, Demeter has risen from the grave – and found itself a director. André Øvredal, who helmed The Autopsy of Jane Doe and the recent Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, is now in talks to helm Demeter for Amblin.

THR is reporting that André Øvredal is currently in talks to direct The Last Voyage fo the Demeter, a movie that’s been knocking around Hollywood for almost twenty years. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula and its subsequent film adaptations, the Demeter is the ship that brings the blood-sucking count from Transylvania to London.

While onboard the ship, Dracula proceeds to kill off the entire crew, because that’s how he rolls. Stoker’s novel is told in epistolary fashion, meaning it’s comprised entirely of letters, newspaper clippings, and journal entries. The Demeter section of the book is told in the form of the captain’s log, in which the ship’s captain chronicles a tale of terror in which his crew is picked off one by one. After lashing himself to the wheel, the captain dies, too, and the ship runs aground on the shores of Whitby, at which point Dracula, transformed into a wolf, jumps ashore.

All of Dracula’s actions on the ship happen off-page – the captain only hears about them second hand, he never actually sees old Drac. The Last Voyage of the Demeter would be set entirely aboard the ship, and give us a front-row seat to Dracula’s misdeeds. And unless the movie changes the book, that also means every character in the film dies, so, uh…spoiler warning, I guess (the book is 122-years-old, we’re well beyond the spoiler zone, please don’t yell at me).

The Last Voyage of the Demeter was written by Bragi Schut back in 2002, although it’s probably safe to say the script has gone through rewrites since then. At one point Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake director Marcus Nispel was floated as a possible director. 30 Days of Night filmmaker David Slade came close as well. Now, Øvredal will give it a go.

Øvredal is a talented horror filmmaker, and he has a unique style loaded with atmosphere, which is perfect for a story like this. While I wasn’t exactly bowled over by the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark script, Øvredal’s direction was solid. And his Autopsy of Jane Doe is supremely creepy, doing a lot with very little. Should he get the Demeter gig, I’d be excited to see what he does with the property.

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