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Dracula (Chloe Zhao)

  • 05-02-2021 9:43pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4,696 ✭✭✭ The White Wolf


    https://variety.com/2021/film/news/chloe-zhao-dracula-sci-fi-western-1234900898/
    “Nomadland” director Chloé Zhao is tackling the classic Universal monster Dracula, as the writer, producer and director of a new take on the character in the vein of a futuristic sci-fi western.

    Studio: What can we do with Dracula that hasn't been done?

    Me: How about a true adaptation? Some have come close but there's plenty of room there to bring the novel to life in an exciting epic.

    Studio: Nah let's make a futuristic sci fi western starring Dracula.

    Me: For. ****. Sake.


Comments

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,018 CMod ✭✭✭✭ johnny_ultimate


    As the article notes, there's a separate, book-faithful adaptation of Dracula in the works (although I'm not sure if that'll be a modern setting or not): https://variety.com/2020/film/news/dracula-karyn-kusama-blumhouse-1203529596/)

    It's a curious choice for Zhao, but it's hardly like Dracula as a character hasn't been used and abused in all manner of ways over the decades. The material is no longer sacred, so if we're getting another one I'm happier to see a talented director with her own take on the character.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,696 ✭✭✭ The White Wolf


    As the article notes, there's a separate, book-faithful adaptation of Dracula in the works (although I'm not sure if that'll be a modern setting or not): https://variety.com/2020/film/news/dracula-karyn-kusama-blumhouse-1203529596/)

    It's a curious choice for Zhao, but it's hardly like Dracula as a character hasn't been used and abused in all manner of ways over the decades. The material is no longer sacred, so if we're getting another one I'm happier to see a talented director with her own take on the character.

    The other film is from Blumhouse and is, from what I've read, meant to be done in a similar vein to Invisible Man from last year; so that's two adaptations in the works and both very much a millions miles from what they should be.

    I liked Invisible Man and can see the director chosen here is highly regarded, but I don't get why both this AND a modern take from Blumhouse is really needed. Yes the character has been used every which way but as I pointed out, none of them have really come close to even using the spine of the novel accept for Bram Stoker's Dracula.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,540 ✭✭✭✭ Tony EH


    Dracula is one of those "probably impossible to bring to the screen" books.

    Having read it many moons ago, I can understand why. It's all over the shop and the main villain disappears for half of the story. Plus, it's deathly boring once we are transported to England. The whole opening is one of the best in horror, though, and it does lend itself to a great opening for a movie. But after that it goes downhill and doesn't get going again until Lucy gets her head lopped off.

    I'd love to see a straightforward movie made out of it, but like anything H.P. Lovecraft wrote, most film makers just take the title and then make up their own thing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,696 ✭✭✭ The White Wolf


    I think Bram Stoker's Dracula demonstrated well how the film can be interesting when Dracula is not on the screen and treated as the villain he is. Coppola really established a fine ensemble between Mina, Harker, Van Helsing, Seward, Quincey and Holmwood.

    There's still plenty of scope for a modern film to take that basic approach and make something new from it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,540 ✭✭✭✭ Tony EH


    I dunno. I think Coppola's effort was mostly awful, with at least two wretched performances.


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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,098 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp


    The Coppola movie was the best possible treatment of a story whose lineage is more interesting than the actual original story itself. Everyone knows who Dracula is, the character is itself eternal and lives far beyond the pages of the novel. Bram Stoker's Dracula (the novel) is ... Well. Very much "of its time", which is to say a deeply dull read to a modern audience. It's all very Victorian in its xenophobia, and puritanical attitudes towards sex.

    So I admire how the Coppola film hewed as close to the book as any adaptation, but added a style to it that was something akin to a sexy fever dream. That it was an intentional snub of that original tone. Keanu Reeves' performance was an abomination for sure, but even if you don't rate the film - you'd do well to forget it. It was also a glorious highlights reel of every preCGI, optical effect going.

    As to this adaptation? Blergh. Who cares. The premise sounds like another studio attempt at an intentional B movie; seen previously with stuff like Cowboys v Aliens. If this Dracula is a $50 million vehicle, then maybe it might have the room to succeed. But if it's $100 million plus, then it's destined to be a bomb. The studio will meddle to ensure the 4 quadrants are hit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,696 ✭✭✭ The White Wolf


    You can do a faithful period piece while managing the more "outdated" aspects of the book. BBC's recent adaptation handled the novel's shame around sexuality extremely well for example before it sh1t the bed in its 3rs episode.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,098 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp


    You can do a faithful period piece while managing the more "outdated" aspects of the book. BBC's recent adaptation handled the novel's shame around sexuality extremely well for example before it sh1t the bed in its 3rs episode.

    I have heard that adaptation went completely off the rails in the third episode all right.

    IIRC, Stoker wrote Dracula with the subtext of venereal disease, which was the worry at the time, so good to at least keep those original intentions. It's kinda odd when you step back and consider the vampire is now regarded as "sexy". They're parasitic, manipulative creatures and yet Twilight would have us swoon at their brooding :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,470 ✭✭✭ Cork_exile


    The third episode went so far off the rails it became a plane

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,863 ✭✭✭ mikhail


    Cork_exile wrote: »
    The third episode went so far off the rails it became a plane
    It did. I kind of enjoyed it for daring to be its own thing. Thing was, the overall quality was a steady down-slope from the first episode.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,540 ✭✭✭✭ Tony EH


    pixelburp wrote: »
    I have heard that adaptation went completely off the rails in the third episode all right.

    IIRC, Stoker wrote Dracula with the subtext of venereal disease, which was the worry at the time, so good to at least keep those original intentions. It's kinda odd when you step back and consider the vampire is now regarded as "sexy". They're parasitic, manipulative creatures and yet Twilight would have us swoon at their brooding :D

    The "sexy" vampire thing came about long after Stoker. And got solidified by the likes of Anne Rice.

    Which is a real pity. Making vampires female sex objects (and in some cases male) severely neutered them. But it would neuter any monster, I spose.

    I prefer my vamps to be like Nosferatu or the creepy buggers in '30 Days of Night'.

    The sparkly ones can get lost.


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