Blacula: Cult Classic Getting "Modern Reimagining"

Another surprising reboot is on the way as the cult horror movie Blacula is being revived for modern audiences. Variety brings word that MGM, Bron and Hidden Empire Film Group are rebooting the blaxploitation film from 1972 which was directed by William Crain and starred William Marshall in the title role. According to the trade, the new film will actually be a sequel to the original Blacula and its 1973 follow-up Scream Blacula Scream, they describe the new movie as being "set in a metropolitan city post-coronavirus pandemic." Deon Taylor (Meet the Blacks, The Intruder) will direct the film and co-write the script with Micah Ranum (The Silencing). Roxanne Avent Taylor will produce.

Blacula is arguably one of the most prestigious Black franchises 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,” Taylor said in a statement. “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!”

“I am thrilled to be collaborating with Deon, Roxanne, and the team at Hidden Empire — all proven forces to be reckoned with, on ‘Blacula,’” producer Aaron L. Gilbert said of the film. “It is my hope that our reimagining of the film will open a dialogue among us.”

For those unaware, the original Blacula film followed an African prince that goes to Count Dracula in the 1700s to convince him to stop the Atlantic slave trade. The vampire refuses and places a curse on the man, from which he awakens two hundred years later to avenge the death of his ancestors and get revenge on "those responsible for robbing his people of their work, culture and heritage as they appropriated it for profit."

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The original Blacula is a classic of the blaxploitation subgenre, arriving just after the likes of Shaft and Super Fly, and would kick off another branch of this exploitation subgenre with horror films by and starring black entertainers. In the wake of Blacula came Blackenstein, Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde, and Abby (a blaxploitation film inspired by the success ofThe Exorcist).

(Cover photo by LMPC / Contributor / Getty Images)