Marvel's Eternals Director Developing "Sci-Fi Western" Take on Dracula

Following the success Universal Pictures earned with last year's reimagining of The Invisible Man, the studio has tapped the director of Marvel's Eternals Chloé Zhao to write, direct, and produce a new take on Bram Stoker's Dracula, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Rather than being a straightforward adaptation of the material, however, this new take is set to be a "sci-fi Westner" interpretation of the source material. Last year, it was reported that The Invitation and Jennifer's Body director Karyn Kusama was developing a new take on Dracula, with news of this latest project leaving fans to wonder if we can expect two projects based on the character to be moving forward.

"Chloé’s singular lens shines a light on stories of the overlooked and misunderstood," Universal Pictures president, Peter Cramer, shared in a statement. "We are thrilled to be working with her as she reimagines one of the most iconic outsider characters ever created."

The Hollywood Reporter notes that this new project "will be a far cry from the more traditional or even modern incarnations made over the years. Details are being kept in the coffin, but Zhao’s version is described as an original, futuristic, sci-fi Western. Themes of being on society’s fringes, something Zhao has tackled in her previous work, will course through the project’s veins."

Zhao herself added, "I’ve always been fascinated by vampires and the concept of the Other they embody. I’m very excited to work with Donna, Peter, and the team at Universal to reimagine such a beloved character."

The original roster of Universal Monsters are some of the most iconic figures in all of cinema, all of which have earned a number of adaptations. Back in 2017, Universal Pictures announced that its Tom Cruise-starring The Mummy was set to kick off its "Dark Universe" of Universal Monsters reboots, which would embrace the formula of other shared universes to allow for team-ups and crossovers. When that film was a critical failure, future Dark Universe projects stagnated and the plan was seemingly scrapped.

Rather than being a direct adaptation of its source material, last year's The Invisible Man from writer/director Leigh Whannell embraced modern filmmaking sensibilities and narrative themes to explore how the titular character faked his own death to torment his ex-girlfriend with the help of his invisibility suit, with the film going on to become one of the best-reviewed horror movies of the year. Following that success, reports emerged about new adaptations of The Wolf Man and Bride of Frankenstein, as well as Kusama's Dracula.

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