A new Van Helsing movie is on the way. Julius Avery (Overlord) has been tapped to direct a new take on the classic character, with horror master James Wan (The Conjuring, Saw) producing. This is the latest effort by Universal Pictures to make a modern day franchise out of its classic stable of monster-centric characters. Next up, it's Professor Abraham Van Helsing getting another shot at glory on the big screen.
According to a new report, Julius Avery will direct the new Van Helsing movie, working from a script that was originally penned by Eric Pearson. The script is currently being rewritten now that Avery is on board. James Wan will produce through his company Atomic Monster alongside Michael Clear. Judson Scott is on board as an executive producer. Plot details are currently being kept under wraps so it's not clear how, precisely, the character will be utilized. All that is known currently is that the movie will take place within his world.
Julius Avery made his presence known in Hollywood with 2018's Overlord. The World War II zombie flick was produced by J.J. Abrams. Though there was much speculation ahead of its release, it was not part of the Cloverfield universe. But critics still responded kindly to it, even if it failed to connect at the box office. Avery is currently directing Sylvester Stallone in Samaritan, which is a take on the superhero genre. Avery's directorial debut was 2014's Son of a Gun.
As for James Wan, he has become one of the most prolific and successful filmmakers in Hollywood. As a director, Wan is behind big hits such as The Conjuring, Aquaman and Furious 7. As a producer, he is behind the Conjuring universe spin-offs, DC's Swamp Thing series and the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot, as well as the Saw and Insidious franchises.
Van Helsing, as a character, debuted in Bram Stoker's Dracula. He has appeared in a number of movies and TV shows over the years. Universal previously tried to launch a franchise based on the figure in 2004, with Hugh Jackman starring in the lead role. The movie failed both critically and commercially. Syfy has also aired four seasons of a Van Helsing TV show, which has been renewed for season 5. The character has additionally appeared in Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Penny Dreadful and Dracula 2000, among other adaptations.
Universal has been reinvigorated in terms of its classic monster franchise. The Invisible Man, which was released earlier this year, proved to be a massive hit, taking in $130 million at the box office. The studio previously tried to launch a cinematic universe titled the Dark Universe, starting with Tom Cruise's The Mummy in 2017. It proved to be a one-and-done experiment. The studio has since started developing creator-driven projects, such as a new Wolfman movie with Ryan Gosling and a new take on Dracula from director Karyn Kusama. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. This news comes to us via Deadline.