Company: Summit Entertainment
Written By: Son of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2003’s Scott Kosar was attached to do a rewrite the week his take on The Crazies hit theaters.
Director: Anthony Mandler, whose only credits include directing an episode of and executive producing the series Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood. Oh, and he was “puppy boy” in a 1985 take on Bridge to Terabithia.
The Story: A no-nonsense spin on Vlad Dracul that picks up during his adolescence when he, and his brother Radu, are handed over by their father to the Sultan Murad as part of a peace-keeping treaty. The boys grow up – Radu remains dutiful to the Sultan and his son Murad; Vlad, is a wild card who escapes the Ottoman empire, returns home to find his parents have been killed, and claims his father’s throne. He falls in love, makes allegiances, imprisons enemies and, of course, fights back against Murad and Radu.
Who is Dracula? Call him Braveheart, Gladiator or Robin Hood, but don’t call him a vampire. There are no fangs. No bloodsucking. No touch of the supernatural. This is a straight-up biopic of Vlad, a man who suffered tremendous loss and was pushed to the limits (there’s a shitload of gruesome impaling in the film’s final chapter – ouch!).
Bottom Line: Not as big of a bore as I expected, but this contains plenty of borrowed dramatic elements we’ve seen in similar epic hero stories. The parallel running journeys of Radu and Vlad that ultimately converge works well. Vlad’s life, however, isn’t interesting enough to arouse excitement in me. There is a single reference to the supernatural Dracula mythology, yet it feels shoehorned in. I hear Summit is eager to get this on the screen before Dracula Year Zero. As far as I’m concerned the two projects are like night and day. Sure, they share a few similar beats and characters, but they couldn’t be more different.
Source: Ryan Rotten, Managing Editor