Briefly coming online the other day before being yanked, Universal has now officially released the first trailer for “Dracula Untold,” a $100 million reimagining of the Dracula story which, much like “300,” combines epic fantasy elements with the historical story of Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler). The project was shot in Northern Ireland which essentially stands in for ancient Romania.
The trailer itself shows that the film’s tone bends much more towards the fantastical though – Luke Evans seeking an ancient vampire in a mountain cave (Charles Dance) who turns him into the dreaded Dracula. The newly vamped Vlad’s big power is being able to control and/or turn into a massive swarm of bats. Much of the last 30 seconds showcases essentially ‘Bat tornadoes’ tearing into the invading army of Mehmed the Conqueror (Dominic Cooper).
There’s a blend of “Van Helsing,” “300” and even “Maleficent” here with its attempt to give this darkest of villains a sympathetic backstory (he did it to save his family). It’s all quite familiar stuff, though first time helmer Gary Shore showcases some epic visuals. The use of Lorde’s cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is a case of bad timing considering “Assassin’s Creed: Unity” used it to much better effect the other week.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is the hiring of Evans and then NOT making use of his naturally quite big incisors for the vampire fangs – instead they’ve given him the more compact “True Blood” lateral-placement ones.
The trailer is up at Apple Trailers.