Dracula: Karyn Kusama teases her faithful adaptation to the classic novel
As Blumhouse Productions and Universal Pictures continue to develop new projects centered on the iconic classic monsters, many are intrigued with what they will do to reinvent the fan-favorite horror figures such as Dracula and Frankenstein, especially given the critical and commercial success of Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man. Now, Destroyer director Karyn Kusama has finally opened up about her upcoming film adaptation of Dracula, briefly teasing the details about her new take on the story which has been adapted into more than 200 films since it was published.
In a recent interview on The Kingcast podcast, Kusama has revealed that her new iteration will be a faithful adaptation of horror novel and will be featuring a new perspective of the legendary vampire that hasn’t been seen before in past adaptations.
“It’s a fairly faithful adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel,” Kusama said. “I think something that gets overlooked in the adaptations of Dracula in the past is the idea of multiple voices. In fact, the book is filled with different points of view. And the one point of view we don’t get access to, and all most adaptations give access to, is Dracula himself. So I would just say in some respect, this is going to be an adaptation called Dracula, but it’s perhaps not the same kind of romantic hero that we’ve seen in the past… in past interpretations of Dracula.”
Based on Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror novel of the same name, the Karyn Kusama-directed Dracula film will be co-written by Matt Manfedi and Phil Hay. The film will reportedly have a moderate budget like The Invisible Man with Blumhouse hoping to put on a modern spin on the Prince of Darkness.
Kusama is familiar with the horror genre, having directed the comedy thriller Jennifer’s Body from a script by Diablo Cody. She also directed episodes of HBO’s The Outsider, based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name.
Universal Pictures attempted to create its own shared universe with its legacy monsters; an ambitious project that would have featured the likes of Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, and Javier Bardem. Then The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, crashed and burned with a middling $409 million worldwide gross and subsequently derailed Universal’s Dark Universe.
Because of that, the studio has decided to abandon the shared universe approach and instead focus on character-driven films guided by strong filmmakers and good stories. The first result of their new strategy was Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man starring Elisabeth Moss and Oliver Jackson-Cohen which garnered positive reviews from critics and had grossed over $57 million in its opening weekend on a $7 million budget.
The new Dracula film is part of the growing list of Universal’s upcoming monster projects including Paul Feig’s Dark Army, Dexter Fletcher’s film about Dracula henchman Renfield, Elizabeth Banks’ Invisible Woman, Matt Stawki’s Monster Mash, James Wan’s untitled monster film, and the Ryan Gosling-led Wolfman film. It was previously reported that Oscar-nominated producer Amy Pascal is interested in resurrecting the studio’s long-in-development The Bride of Frankenstein reboot and actor-director John Krasinki also reportedly interested in adapting other Universal monsters.