Golden Globe-nominated filmmaker Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) is teaming up with Universal Pictures to develop a new Dracula movie with a sci-fi, Western twist. Zhao will be very heavily involved with the project, as she'll be directing, writing, and producing the movie through her production company, Highwayman. The news comes just one day after Zhao made history as the first Asian to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Nomadland.
"Chloé's singular lens shines a light on stories of the overlooked and misunderstood," Universal Pictures president Peter Cramer said in a statement. "We are thrilled to be working with her as she reimagines one of the most iconic outsider characters ever created."
Speaking more about the collaboration, Chloé Zhao 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."
There have been countless adaptations of the Count Dracula story over the years, and for the most part, they all carry a very similar premise. Zhao's idea is to take the world's most famous vampire and put him into an entirely new environment, something that most fans of vampire lore probably never saw coming. The movie is described as an "original, futuristic, sci-fi Western" with themes of "being on society's fringes."
Bram Stoker's acclaimed horror novel Dracula spawned the iconic monster's legacy when the book was first published in 1897. The character has since served as the basis for various movies, television shows, stage plays, books, video games, and any other kind of medium you can name. One of the most famous adaptations is the 1958 movie from Hammer Film Productions that starred Christopher Lee as the famous vampire with Peter Cushing co-starring as Van Helsing. Both would reprise their roles multiple times over the coming years.
Dracula-based movies continue to get made frequently. More recently, a Dracula miniseries aired on BBC with Claes Bang as Dracula. It was also reported last year that Karyn Kusama will direct a Dracula movie for Blumhouse, described as a "faithful adaptation" of the Stoker novel but set in modern times. For any Dracula fans feeling leery about Zhao's creative direction for the Count, it appears that more "traditional" versions of the Dracula story will continue to be developed for years to come.
Zhao's movie Nomadland stars Frances McDormand as a woman who leaves her small town to travel around the American West. A critically-acclaimed hit, the movie was just nominated for four Golden Globe Awards. Along with Best Director and Best Screenplay nods for Zhao, the movie is also up for Best Motion Picture - Drama with McDormand in the running for Best Actress. The movie will be released on Hulu on Feb. 19.
As Zhao's Dracula project is in its very early stages, there are no cast members yet attached. It also remains unclear when filming will begin or when the movie might be released in theaters. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.