It has been nearly 49 years since the theatrical release of William Crain’s blaxploitation horror film Blacula, and now Variety brings word that MGM in partnership with BRON and Hidden Empire Film Group are currently in the process of developing a reboot of the 1972 cult classic. Deon Taylor, who is known for directing Meet the Blacks, The Intruder, Black and Blue, and Fatale, has officially signed on to helm and co-write the project, which is being described as a modern reimagining of Blacula.
“Blacula is arguably one of the most prestigious Black franchises,” Deon Taylor said in a statement. “And so important to the culture as it birthed a groundswell of Blaxploitation-horror films, which changed the game for how our people were seen on the big screen.”
He added, “Growing up in Gary, IN, I loved watching Blacula and was so proud that William Marshall was a fellow Gary native. It’s mind-blowing that this franchise never got the energy or appreciation that other genre films received over the years, but this reboot is about to change all that. Thank you to Aaron, Brenda and team Bron as well as everyone at MGM for joining us on this adventure. We promise to bring new life to the iconic ‘Blacula’ character that will resonate with audiences worldwide!”
Set in a metropolitan city post-pandemic, the Blacula reboot will also serve as a continuation of the franchise as it picks up where the original saga left off which is following the events of the original film’s 1973 sequel Scream Blacula Scream. The new film continues to follow the titular vampire, an ancient African prince who is cursed by Dracula after he fails to agree to end the slave trade. Blacula is entombed and awakens 200 years later ready to avenge the death of his ancestors and of those responsible for robbing his people of their work, culture and heritage as they appropriated it for profit.
The reboot will be co-written by Taylor and Micah Ranum. It will be produced by Hidden Empire Film Group’s Roxanne Avent Taylor and BRON’s Aaron L. Gilbert, with DJ Holloway set to oversee the project.
The original Blacula film was directed by William Crain, with Emmy winner William Marshall (As Adam Early in the Morning) starring as the titular vampire. Despite receiving mixed reviews, the film had still went on to become one of the top-grossing films of 1972, and was also the first film to receive the Best Horror Film award at the Saturn Awards.