Eternals Director Chloé Zhao to Helm Sci-Fi Western Take on Dracula

Director Chloé Zhao just earned a Golden Globe nomination for her film Nomadland, and has another big film coming up this year in Marvel’s The Eternals. Now, she’s got another project in the works: Dracula.

Dracula, but with a twist. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it’ll be “an original, futuristic, sci-fi Western”, with “themes of being on society’s fringes.”

Zhao is working on the film with Universal, which has been exploring new ways to use its various classic film monsters. She’ll write, direct, and produce the project, and says that she’s “always been fascinated by vampires and the concept of the Other they embody. I’m very excited to work with Donna, Peter and the team at Universal to reimagine such a beloved character.” No release date has been set for the project.

Amongst those monsters are the Invisible Man, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolfman, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, and The Phantom of the Opera.

Universal has produced numerous films about each of the characters, and had attempted an interconnected franchise called Dark Universe in 2014, which kicked off with Gary Shore’s Dracula Untold (pictured above) and Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy. That franchise would have included takes on all of the other monsters—and would have starred Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, Johnny Depp, and others.

However, after a tepid response from the first two films, the studio put the cinematic universe efforts on hold, and opted instead to focus on standalone films featuring the characters. The latest film in that effort was The Invisible Man, which was directed by Leigh Whannell and which starred Elisabeth Moss and Oliver Jackson-Cohen.

Other films in the works include Bride of Frankenstein, Dark Army (to be directed by Paul Feig, although he says that it’s currently considered to be too expensive, but that he still wants to make it), Renfield (from director Dexter Fletcher), Frankenstein, Wolfman, and a “faithful” adaptation of Dracula from Karyn Kusama.

What this film means for that other Dracula adaptation is unclear, but Zhao’s film looks as though it’ll be a fairly unique take on the character and his story.

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