Dracula is one of the most endearing and enduring villains of fiction, with the Bram Stoker creation having taken many forms and blended into many adaptations since the 1897 publishing of the original novel. Modern media has been able to give the classic character new life through the visual medium, with the Count being a central feature of the Universal Classic Monster series that ran from the 1930s to 1950s by Universal Pictures.
While the studio’s attempted reboot of the classic series, the Dark Universe, fell apart with the first film of the would-be franchise cinematic universe, The Mummy (2017), Universal are pushing on with more of a one-shot approach. One of the upcoming characters on that slate is Dracula, which is set to put him in a sci-fi western environment, building further on the character’s incredible range in pop culture.
Dracula and the Legend of Vampires Continues to Be Worked into Pop Culture
The shift from a novel to the big screen and TV series is now very much seen as a logical step, with the visual medium offering a new way to capitalize on great storytelling. Over the last couple of decades, however, a new, far more immersive form of entertainment has come to the fore: gaming. Dracula and his vampiric kind continue to be influential forms of the source material. The highly-anticipated Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is a prime example of this, as are the several other draws on the mythical being.
In the world of ever-updating libraries, flashy new features almost every month, and intense competition to catch the attention of players, Dracula and vampires remain a go-to theme in online slots. This is significant because the vast majority of slots only have one shot to impress, and that’s through their tile image. Next, the theme has to be appealing enough to make the slot enjoyable. So, the fact that many developers and designers keep coming back to Dracula speaks greatly to the character’s enduring appeal.
Bringing Dracula to a New, but Subtly Successful, Genre
Chloé Zhao on her sci-fi Western take on #Dracula: “I’m a huge fan of the book. And I wanted to see what essence I can find [in ‘Dracula’], and then be able to reimagine this really beloved character I love so much.” https://t.co/NjqNiGmTfe
— Variety (@Variety) April 28, 2021
Continuing their line of monster movies, which don’t appear to be linked anymore, Chloé Zhao will be taking on Dracula as the director, writer, and producer. However, what stands out about this announcement is that the infamous vampire will be brought to a futuristic sci-fi western. It’s a bold move, but the sci-fi western genre has quietly produced some gems in recent years, as shown by The Mandalorian, the first season of Westworld, Prospect, Serenity, and even the pitifully-named Cowboys & Aliens.
Still, this would certainly be a big switch from the usual medieval, fantasy, or modern settings that most Dracula or vampire shows and films choose. The likes of Blade Trinity, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Castlevania, the slated Dracula show, Van Helsing, and Dracula Untold all either kept the character within his more familiar surroundings of the past or only brought the immortal as far as the modern-day. A futuristic sci-fi western certainly isn’t beyond the scope of the vampire, but it should detach the film significantly from the status quo.
As a character and a being of legend, Dracula is fascinating, and with a talented writer and director like Zhao, Universal’s upcoming monster outing is certainly an intriguing one, to say the least.