Doctor, lawyer, and vampire hunter, Van Helsing is a literary character as famous as his arch nemesis Dracula. A hero with beginnings in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” novel, he has been portrayed by an impressive list of actors in films and television movies, which include Peter Cushing, Sir Lawrence Olivier, Herbert Lom, Mel Brooks, Giancarlo Giannini, Christopher Plummer, David Carradine, and Hugh Jackman.
Director/writer Stephen Sommers brought “Van Helsing” to the big screen in 2004. The film was a box office hit, but garnered mediocre reviews from critics and fans. Instead of continuing the series with Hugh Jackman in the title role, Universal Pictures announced last month that they have decided to reboot the potential franchise with actor Tom Cruise in the lead.
Cruise is a competent actor, but is he the right person for the part? He was the wrong choice for the role of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg in 2008’s “Valkyrie.” His German in that film was “Mein Gott” awful, so let’s hope he is able to pull off a better Dutch accent in “Van Helsing.” Universal could have done worse and sent in Ryan Reynolds as the cavalry to rescue the project.
However, CraveOnline landed this exclusive interview with screenwriter Alex Kurtzman (“Star Trek,” “People Like Us.”) In his interview Kurtzman discussed many things in regards to his upcoming projects, including Universal Pictures’ “Van Helsing.” This is what he had to say:
“Well, I don’t want to give away too much, because we are actually at the very beginning of talking about what to do with it. But I do feel like the Van Helsing that Anthony Hopkins plays in [Bram Stoker’s] Dracula is sort of the parody version of it, and the Van Helsing that Hugh Jackman played was obviously in a different place as well. I think that these kinds of movies have evolved a lot since then. You know, The Dark Knight was a major, major corner-turning moment in the way that genre and superhero stories could be told. Really grounded in reality. Really grounded in really cool things. That’s what I’d like to do without sacrificing the fantasy element. We aspired to do that as well on Trek, you know, keep it “real.” That’s such a different franchise than Batman, but that’s really what we wanted to do. And we’d love to do that with Van Helsing.”
Do you think Kurtzman and Universal are on the right track?
Kurtzman and partner Roberto Orci will also be bringing “The Mummy” series back to life.