LONDON, 1912: Someone is stalking the brave band of heroes who had defeated the vampire Dracula a quarter-century ago.
Bram Stoker's great-grandnephew and blood descendant, Dacre Stoker, and award-winning Dracula documentarian and historian Ian Holt have sold North American-English publishing rights of the Stoker-family-authorized sequel to Bram's classic novel for well over mid - seven figures U.S. to an alliance of Dutton U.S. (Brian Tart), Harper U.K. (Jane Johnson), and Penguin-Canada (Laura Shin) brokered by Danny Baror of Baror International and Ken Atchity, of Atchity Entertainment International, the literary manager representing Stoker and Holt. The novel will appear in October 2009.
Laura Shin, senior editor of Penguin-Canada, who signed up for two additional sequels, said,
"I was thrilled by this page-turning story and loved spending time with those great characters-Stoker and Holt did a fantastic job melding the old with the new, and I found the work to be a virtually seamless continuation of the original. The story has all the hallmarks of a historical novel, but with a modern sensibility that gives it wide-spread appeal."
Dutton and Harper signed a single novel deal. Although other precedent-setting foreign deals are already closed from preempts, Baror is planning to sign the bulk of world territories at the upcoming Frankfurt Book Fair.
Using Stoker family connections, the writers were able to access Bram Stoker's hand-written notes for his novel - which, before an editor changed the title, was to have been called "The Un-Dead."
"Our story," Stoker said, "includes characters and plot threads that had been excised by the publisher from the original printing over a century ago."
Dracula is one of the most recognized fictitious characters in the world, having spawned dozens of books and movies; the original novel, according to historians’ best estimates, has sold millions of copies-second only to the Bible, available in over fifty languages--and generated hundreds of millions of dollars. “The Un-Dead” is the first Dracula story to enjoy the full support of the Stoker clan since the original 1931 movie starring Bela Lugosi. Lugosi's appearance in Hamilton Deane’s and John Balderston's stage production of the story on Broadway in New York, fifteen years after Bram Stoker's death in 1927, sparked the original novel's bestselling popularity. It has never been out of print since.
AEI's Ken Atchity, Chi-Li Wong, and Michael T. Kuciak (Life or Something Like It, Joe Somebody, Ripley's Believe It or Not) will produce the film with Blue Tulip's Jan de Bont (Twister, Speed, Minority Report), and are expecting to see it go before the cameras in June '09. The script has been completed by Ian Holt with the story co-written by Alexander Galant, who are both managed by AEI and agented by Ron Gwiazda and Amy Wagner at Abrams Artists.
Both Stoker and Galant are Canadian, though Stoker now lives in the U.S. He was the Canadian Modern Pentathlon Coach from 1983-1987 and then Canadian Olympic Modern Pentathlon Coach at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. Holt, who has visited Dracula's Castle in Transylvania and is a member of The Transylvanian Society of Dracula, lives in Long Island, New York.