Paramount Pictures has acquired the screen rights to Dracul, a prequel to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It’s the first prequel that Stoker’s estate has authorized. The story was written by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker.
J.D. Barker is a best selling author of suspense thrillers. His first novel, Forsaken, was a finalist for the, you guessed it, Bram Stoker Award. His latest novel, The Fourth Monkey, was released this past June.
Dracul is potentially a directing vehicle for Andy Muschietti, the director of It. We will see what It is like soon, since it will be released on Sept. 8th. They expect a big opening weekend because of the viral response to the trailers. Muschietti also directed Mama, which was released in 2013. Mama was creepy and atmospheric but also had heart. It was beautifully filmed. Andy Muschietti may soon be directing the sequel to It, since the movie only encompasses the first half of the book. That could put Dracul on the back burner for a while. He will reteam with the producers of It, Roy Lee and his sister, Barbara Muschietti.
According to Deadline, the plotline for Dracul is “set in 1868, where a 21-year old Bram Stoker meets with an ungodly evil that he traps in an ancient tower all the while scribbling the events that led him there.” This is very much how the original novel starts. One assumes that the concept is that we are being told the real story, the one behind the fictional story that Bram Stoker wrote. The evil may not be Dracula though. Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Dracula, had a father who was called Dracul. Dracula means son of Dracul, Dracul meaning dragon or devil. Just a bit of speculation.
It’s not a very original idea. Dracula has been done to death, or undeath, as the case may be. It’s not the first time that Bram Stoker has been turned into a character in the story. Dacre Stoker’s attempts to add his own stamp to the legend have been largely unsuccessful before now. However, with a good co-writer and an excellent director, it could turn out to be something worth watching. Audiences never seem to get tired of Dracula.