When Amazon announced that it was acquiring MGM last month, it said that it would be working to “reimagine and develop that IP” that the studio already has. Lots has been made of the fact that MGM is responsible for properties like James Bond and Stargate, but it has many other films in its library as well.
Case in point: the 1972 film Blacula and its sequels. According to Variety, the studio is looking to revamp the franchise with a “modern reimagining” that will take place after 1973’s Scream Blacula Scream.
All-Star Weekend and Chain Letter director Deon Taylor has been tapped to helm the project, and is co-writing the screenplay with The Silencing‘s Micah Ranum.
The original is a blaxploitation horror film about Prince Mamuwalde (played by William Marshall), who’s sent to Transylvania by his elders to see if Count Dracula will help them combat the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Dracula refuses and bites him, turning him into a vampire, before sealing him into a coffin and leaving him imprisoned for hundreds of years.
His coffin is later purchased by a pair of interior decorators, and ends up in Los Angeles. He gets out, consumes them, then encounters a woman who looks like his dead wife and goes on a rampage, which prompts a manhunt in the city.
The project was a cult hit and prompted a sequel, Scream Blacula Scream (pictured above), as well as a number of black horror films throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Taylor noted in a statement that “‘Blacula’ is arguably one of the most prestigious Black franchises and so important to the culture as it birthed a groundswell of Blaxploitation-horror films, which changed the game for how our people were seen on the big screen,” and that he grew up watching it in his formative years.
There’s no indication when the project will be released, or who will star in it.