Director Chloe Zhao has already achieved plenty of critical acclaim in her nascent career thanks to her incredible 2017 film The Rider and her 2021 awards frontrunner Nomadland.
Plus she’s already finished her upcoming Marvel film, Eternals. So where to go from here? How about a sci-fi western version of Dracula?
Zhao has signed on to write and direct a new Dracula movie for Universal, but this version is expected to find the character either living on or feasting on the fringes of society and set during a futuristic western setting. Zhao will also produce the movie via her Highwayman banner.
“I’ve always been fascinated by vampires and the concept of the Other they embody. I’m very excited to work with Donna [Langley], Peter [Cramer] and the team at Universal to reimagine such a beloved character”, Zhao said in a statement.
Universal president Cramer added: “Chloé’s singular lens shines a light on stories of the overlooked and misunderstood. We are thrilled to be working with her as she reimagines one of the most iconic outsider characters ever created”.
These are the kinds of reboots of classic characters Hollywood needs more of. Instead of just rehashing what came before, give filmmakers the opportunity to put their own spin on things.
Like Leigh Whannell‘s The Invisible Man last year, Zhao will be able to make the Dracula character her own. How he’ll fit into the sci-fi western setting is anyone’s guess, but it certainly sounds fascinating.
This isn’t the only Dracula movie in the works. Karyn Kusama (The Invitation, Destroyer) is working on her own, more traditional Dracula film for Blumhouse.
So in some ways the two movies will be competing against each other, but Zhao’s movie sounds like it will be completely different from any previous Dracula incarnation, so they’ll be hard to compare.
Considering Zhao’s immense talent, I think we can be reasonably confident that her sci-fi western will be much better than the last one Hollywood churned out – 2011’s Cowboys & Aliens. She’ll remain a talked about director for a while, as Nomadland will likely be a major player at this year’s April Oscars, then Eternals arrives later this year on Friday, November 5.