Universal, James Wan & Julius Avery Team for New Van Helsing
As Universal has seemingly found its path to success in revitalizing their class Monster movie library with The Invisible Man and a number of promising projects in the works, they are partnering up with James Wan and Julius Avery to develop a new Van Helsing film, according to Deadline.
The film, whose story is being kept under wraps aside from keeping it in the world of the titular monster hunter, will be rewritten by the Overlord director on Eric Pearson (Black Widow, Godzilla vs. Kong)’s original script. The new film will be directed by Avery while modern horror icon Wan (The Conjuring Universe) is attached to produce via his Atomic Monster production banner alongside Michael Clear, while Judson Scott is set to executive produce.
Helsing, who first appeared in Bram Stoker’s legendary novel Dracula, has been seen on screen performed by a number of stars over the years including Edward Van Sloan in Universal’s 1931 adaptation of the novel as well as Peter Cushing in Hammer’s film series, Laurence Olivier, Anthony Hopkins and Thomas Kretschmann.
Most notably was in 2004’s eponymous film written and directed by Stephen Sommers (The Mummy) and starring Hugh Jackman in the titular role in a loose adaptation of the character that Universal was hoping to launch into a new franchise, but following the film’s poor reception from critics and only bringing in $300 million on its estimated $170 million production budget, the studio elected to keep the character in their pockets for a hopeful future outing.
Though it’s currently unclear if Avery’s take on the character will be R-rated like his last directorial effort, the critically acclaimed Nazi zombie actioner Overlord, sources report the studio is very open to this possibility given that the most recent revitalization of a Classic Monster property, Leigh Whannell’s Invisible Man, garnered rave reviews and grossed over $130 million on its $7 million budget.
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