Chloé Zhao is one of the most exciting directors around at the moment. She's set to deliver the Oscar-buzzed drama Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand, and has Marvel Cinematic Universe movie Eternals in the offing.
Zhao is now expanding her horizons with a planned Dracula remake. The legacy of Bram Stoker's classic vampire creation is set to be crossed with a Western, reports Variety. Oh, and there's a dash of science-fiction to be thrown into the mix as well – dare we say, intriguing?
“I’ve always been fascinated by vampires and the concept of the Other they embody,” Zhao said in a statement. “I’m very excited to work with Donna [Langley], Peter [Cramer] and the team at Universal to reimagine such a beloved character.”
First published in 1897, Dracula remains the defining vampire novel and its legacy has extended far and wide throughout the history of the movies. From Bela Lugosi's iconic 1933 iteration to recent interpretations such as 2014's Dracula Untold, starring Luke Evans, the immortal bloodsucker proves endlessly alluring to filmmakers.
“Chloé’s singular lens shines a light on stories of the overlooked and misunderstood,” said Peter Cramer, Universal Pictures president. “We are thrilled to be working with her as she reimagines one of the most iconic outsider characters ever created.”
A separate Dracula project is also underway, a collaboration between Blumhouse and Destroyer filmmaker Karyn Kusama. However, Variety states that Zhao's project will not cross over with this property.
In the meantime, Zhao's acclaimed Nomadland is waiting in the wings. Oscar-winner Frances McDormand stars as Fern, a recently bereaved woman who packs her belongings into storage and takes up a nomadic existence living in a van. Zhao's atmospheric film criss-crosses this fictional narrrative with appearances from real-life nomads who share their experiences of existing off-grid in contemporary America.
The movie has yielded strong reviews and several Golden Globe nominations, with Oscar nominations all-but-guaranteed, although its UK and Ireland release date remains in flux. After that, Zhao delivers her first Marvel movie in the form of Eternals. The story centres on celestial, all-powerful beings who've disguised themselves in human form on Earth. The all-star cast includes Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani, Barry Keoghan, Richard Madden and Kit Harington.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige lauded Zhao's initial pitch and expectation are now starting to build. Eternals is tentatively due for release in November 2021 although, again, this remains subject to change.
What do you think of Zhao's Dracula idea? Let us know @Cineworld.