Two gruff Australian actors, two takes on Dracula – both making headlines today.
First up comes word via Deadline that Universal Pictures is dusting off its ambitious “Dracula Year Zero” project which previously had Sam Worthington attached to star and Alex Proyas set to direct.
The film explored Vlad the Impaler and his lust for blood which inspired the mythology behind Bram Stoker’s classic novel. The film came close to production a while back when the studio shut it down due to the budget being too large.
Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless have written a new draft of the screenplay while Gary Shore is now in negotiations to direct. Michael De Luca will continue as producer, it’s unknown if Worthington remains attached.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Pictures is in talks with Russell Crowe about starring in “Harker”, a reimagining of the story which Leonardo DiCaprio will produce reports Vulture.
In this take Jonathan Harker becomes the protagonist and is not a lawyer. Instead he’s a Scotland Yard detective investigating the Count’s string of grisly murders in England.
Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy penned the script. Jaume Collet-Serra (“Unknown,” “Orphan”) was attached but the project lost steam when he was transferred over to the “Akira” remake. With that project now stuck in the mud due to financing issues, the plan now seems to make “Harker” happen first.
Crowe’s availability however will depend on his schedule as he’s just begun shooting “Les Miserables” and looks to be following that with Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah”.