Brad Pitt's New Vlad Movie Has No Vampires or Dracula In It!
Just the other day it was announced that Summit had bought the rights to a spec script called Vlad that was about Vlad the Impaler, the person who behind the Dracula myth. Given that relation and the popularity of vampires in Hollywood, the story was sent out as somewhat of a new take on Dracula involving vampires yet again. Apparently that's not actually the case. EW.com spoke with screenwriter Charlie Hunnam (who is also an actor) about his Vlad script and it sounds awesome in its own way, yet different than you're probably expecting. It's much more of a period epic about Vlad and his rule as a prince in the Ottoman Empire.
Hunnam describes it as "more Braveheart than 300," if you're wondering about the style or intensity. "I was really interested in the reality of how this man turned into the myth, and because of some of his behaviors, it's actually very easy to weave that mythology in, in a true way." So we get to see the story of Vlad the Impaler, which Hunnam explains in detail over on EW. Most of the first act involves Vlad as a kid. "You see them as children, you see the war, you get introduced to the Ottoman Empire, the deal is made, the children are taken, and then you see how differently each of them reacts to being held in the Ottoman court. The first act break is cutting from them being children to them being adults — and then all hell breaks loose."
There may be a few of you who are probably still wondering what this has to do with Dracula or how it all connects. Well, Hunnam explains exactly that in his last answer in the interview. Here's what he says:
"As the script stands now, we don't touch on vampirism. That was my one non-negotiable area when we were developing it, and thankfully, nobody suggested that we should delve into it at the end. But you can clearly see the things that Bram Stoker took… Vlad was such a brutal man, and the trick is to make him sympathetic. That was the challenge, and if we've succeeded in any way in this script, I truly believe that it's genuinely making him sympathetic. He was doing what he thought was right. He was the one who was being invaded and whose religious beliefs were being stripped away.
… There are a million ways to show that this guy is the origin of vampirism without actually having him drinking blood."
And who might play Vlad? Hunnam, who stars on "Sons of Anarchy", said it would be a dream come true if he could, but that's very unlikely. "There's something very roguish and bad boy about Vlad, and I know Colin [Farrell] a little bit, and I think he has some of the characteristics that would be essential for playing this guy." He also suggests Ryan Gosling or Christian Bale but admits he doesn't know and it's probably better left up to director Anthony Mandler to figure out. With this update, though, I can say I'm certainly still interested, but maybe I was just itching to see a bit of the supernatural make its way into this. Thoughts?
Vlad CG image at the top courtesy of artist Harsh Borah: harshcg.com.
Reader Feedback - 31 Comments
So its a film about the actual Vlad Dracula? Thats good, there is a good albiet disturbing story in Vlad Dracula that could make for an excellent movie, and if it does indeed happen please show him waling in a field of impaled victims and eating dinner while watching them...but how are we supposed to feel for this guy?
Xerxex on Dec 10, 2009
Roguish and bad boy Vlad? the guy was a bloodthirsty mass murderer,far worse then Stoker's character.What's next a romance about Hitler and Eva Braun.
tir na nog on Dec 10, 2009
In his defense, tir na nog, the era he lived in was brutal and terror-filled. It was the Turks who taught him impalement in the first place, he merely turned it around on them and used it as a tactic to drive them out. Plus Wallachia was relatively small and trapped between the Turks and the Hungarian empire, both of which wanted to claim Wallachia as their own. He thought the best way to protect his throne was to wage psychological warfare with his enemies, and to his credit, it worked. And as for seeing supernatural aspects, no. If it's a historical period piece, it doesn't call for or need supernatural elements. I'm so bloody sick of vampires, if this has anything to do with them, I probably won't be seeing it. And as for Vlad being "the origin of vampirism", no. Vampirism has been recorded (as a concept) as far back as the Sumarian civilization. Surprise surprise, hollywood has no concern about history
me on Dec 10, 2009
No big surprise there, Vlad didn't become a vampire until after he died. Besides, nothing he did in fiction could ever rival the savagery of what he actually did in real life. The real life Vlad the Impaler makes the fictional Vlad the Vampire look like Sesame Street's The Count.
Hattori Hanzo on Dec 10, 2009
You guys really need to start using a different picture when reporting on this. Is that supposed to be Vlad the Impaler? If so, it's terrible and it looks like it's from some outdated video game....awful.
NoNameNoSlogan on Dec 10, 2009
for one count me excited. There were so many middle european heroes who stepped up to fight the ottoman conquests into Europe. Vlad was brutal but that is what was required to save his kingdom. I'm completely game for this movie.
harm on Dec 10, 2009
This sounds like it could be awesome. Spec script though, so here's to waiting
theotherbluth on Dec 10, 2009
just keep the vampires out and ill see it
samuel j on Dec 10, 2009
Erh...how can this not be Strong R or X Rated? " The Impaler" comes from well, impaling, Canibal Holocaust style. There is an old( Rumanian?) film, where there is this amazing scene of hundreds of people on poles, impaled anus-->out mouth-anyone seen this or know what its called? I've only seen that clip. I think it was 'lost' for decades?
David Banner on Dec 10, 2009
this needs to be R it won't work any other way, I wanna see some impaled people!
Xerxex on Dec 10, 2009
Finnally, we got our Vlad movie!
Dreckent on Dec 10, 2009
I always thought Robert Carlyle looked a lot like Vlad the Impaler in the movie Ravenous, and I think they made him look like that on purpose. Check this two pics: http://rcrawford79.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/vlad_the_impaler_9.jpg http://weeklyrot.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/arrow-ravenous.jpg
Dreckent on Dec 10, 2009
Oh, you were "just itching to see a bit of the supernatural make its way into this"? You could scratch that itch by watching: "Any other Vampire Movie Ever Made"
Elroy on Dec 10, 2009
As most have mentioned already, this should be a great movie. As the Vlad story it'self is an amazing & disturbing one. Ofcoures it is touched on, in the Stoker story. But only as a precurser to the fantasy stuff about Dracula. Pitt is actually a good choice as well. As we all know he can pull of some intense performances when he wants too. Hopefully they won't make it into some lovey dovey story line, and keep it all about the defence of his kingdom.
Marty on Dec 11, 2009
Now THIS is more like it. Vlad Dracula was a fascinating character without all the supernatural embellishments. Marty: As far as I know, Pitt is only producing this, but I think he could work as Vlad. Gosling would be very interesting, too. Actually, my choice would be Farrell because he has both the roguish charm (as mentioned in the article) and the intensity. As for Bale, I'm sure he'd do a fine job, but he seems too obvious a choice.
Corran Horn on Dec 11, 2009
YES! the movie i've been waiting for! but just please don't cast Bale as Vlad!
guh on Dec 11, 2009
@David Banner - the movie you are talking about is indeed a Romanian historical movie, and is called "Vlad Tepes". Don't think you will be able to get it from anywhere though...You can watch it on the net,I think on google vids but it's not subtitled,so chances are that you will understand nothing from it 🙂 On-topic: this will be an interesting movie, this guy was the biggest nightmare that the ottomans had for centuries. Keep in mind that he terrified the biggest ottoman sultan,the conqueror of Constantinople,Mohamed II.
mace on Dec 15, 2009
yeah! I studied about a lot Vlad and i always thought it should be a movie so hell yeas bring it on!
taylor on Dec 15, 2009
Hunnam is amazing. Smart, well educated, and I am so interested in seeing how this does. I'm reading "the historian" right now so I will enjoy seeing the outcome. I am a HUGE fan of Hunnam and have no doubt that he will do wonderfully.
Sara on Dec 25, 2009
I think it is awesome. What person could say they would NOT do all it takes, to defend his family, his land, or even title?? Even though he was brutal, as others mention earlier, that was both the time perios, and the secret to his success. As for his brutality, who would not be, when some foreigner wants to come and take your land, rape your female relatives, kill your sons, and make you worship a false god? If they want to throw in a little romance, fine by me, as long as it is more in line with the romance seen in "300" and not the annoying love stories of "Troy." Because it is this man's love of family (and self) that made him the person who fought so brilliantly, and savagely, and save an entire locale from Muslim rule.
jen on Dec 27, 2009
the shooting of the movie will start this spring in Romania according to romainian press i think its goona be a great movie
man20 on Jan 5, 2010
For those of us familiar with history, the East European space North and South of the Danube (present Romania and Bulgaria) witnessed some of the bloodiest battles of the 15th and 16th century - which were all caused by ,and followed the momentuous fall of Constantinopolis and the Sultans' struggle to continue their conquest of Europe... as mentioned here Vlad the Impaler himself engaged the Ottoman Turks and their allies in fierce battles with tens of thousands of casualties.. earlier, at the battle of Nicopolis a 100,000 strong Crusader army was butchered by the Ottomans. Stephen the Great (a Vallahian prince, contemporary with Vlad) has the reputation of slaughering 80,000 Turks in one single day (all killed on the battlefield or beheaded shortly afterwards, look up Battle of Vazlui). It was an age of MASSIVE CARNAGE!!! For comparison, the Templars' affiliate nights of St. John needed 6 months in the siege of Malta to kill some 30,000 Ottomans, while losing some 10,000 of their own soldiers... At the Battle of Crecy, the momentuous show down between the French and the English, merely 10,000 lives were lost.. compare this to the 20,000 impaled in 'one go' by Vlad.. ... so probably the movie should illustrate this violence, but also explain the historical context and the critical situation, a TRUE CLASH OF CIVILISATIONS !
George V on Jan 5, 2010
I am a huge fan of C. Hunnam and I hope that he plays the lead. If not forget Colin Farrell (blech!)and Christian Bale get Eric Bana.
KCurtis on Jan 29, 2010
Russell Crowe .... good face for the part, he can get the intensity and right demeanor as an actor, there's a guy who could nail the character of Vlad Tepes. Another good actor would be Gerard Butler. Both are very strong personality / character actors and they grasp their material dead on.
Lori on Mar 9, 2010
i just read in a romanian news article that brad pitt is gonna star in it. is it likely?
florin3k3 on May 8, 2010
I think they should have someone totally new play Vlad: seeing a familiar face will make Vlad less intimidating or sympathetic, as the director wants, lol. He needs to be someone we've never seen before
Mia on May 18, 2010
It is excellent that a bit of knowledge about how historical events that delve into today's popular "hollywood" views are going to be spread. It is also nice to know that one of the most gorgeous men alive (charlie hunnam) is not just another pretty, talented face out there, but a smart and interesting one as well. Thousand thumbs up for Charlie Hunnam!!!
yusssi on Jan 16, 2011
Well Vlad lets sum up, Cold, calculating , ruthless, 170+ iq, sexist, ghoulish tendacys and manic behavior with demensia make a hell of a phsyco.The first real godfather of templar cults in my opinion.There's a way to touch on the supernatural-dreams, dejavu and just so happened stuff, the wonderment of small talk making a platue upon the mind.The hell within their own mind transgressing on others, the devil on their shoulder so to say-there's Vlad.The impaler.Would hunt and stalk like ivan the terrible, a set of robes and a cowl, broadsword and a shield with some furrs, fucking creepy.Vlad's case a awl pike and just a sword and or deathcord, maybe a whip in some sturdy chain or banded mail.They hide the monster within and ghoul towards self destruction and oppression in the spite of loss or desire and chaotic on a whim without apology.Walking misery in the face of a stern yet made laughing expression at odd times.Calm, and errieely compossed without any remorse.A hell of a ruler..
Brad999 on May 9, 2011
A buffed Jim Carry.Thy did great in 27.They have that dynamic personality if they could strike a lower voice.A lil russian accent.A little sauntered and unshaven.lol.That natural crazy spontanious attitude, jason strathholm would be good too.
Brad999 on May 9, 2011
white as a shy, bags under they eyes, a miliion mile stare and a untamed dark mane of hair, beard and stache..Rob Zombie, there ya go:)
Brad999 on May 9, 2011
some battle scars and white and red highlights through, hair, beard n stache.
Brad999 on May 9, 2011
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