Luke Evans to Lead 'Dracula Year Zero' for Universal & New Director
Over a year after commercials director Gary Shore became attached to the gestating Dracula Year Zero project set up at Universal Pictures, the film finally has a lead actor to play the iconic vampire. While Sam Worthington was once linked to the role when Alex Proyas was still directing, Heat Vision has word that Fast & Furious 6 villain Luke Evans has landed the role in the film which has already been greenlit with an eye towards shooting sometime this year. Michael De Luca (Moneyball) is still on board as producer with the most recent script from Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless writing a new draft of the script. More below!
The story follows real-life historical figure Prince Vlad of Transylvania, known as the inspiration for Dracula, as his wife and child find themselves in danger from a despicable sultan. He risks his very soul to save them, and that's the origin story of the first vampire. It seems like Universal might have missed the vampire boat, but the studio is responsible for many classic monster movies, including the original Dracula in 1931. Setting it in history does make it different than most of the vampire tales that have hit the big and small screen over the years since The Twilight Saga and "True Blood" took off, but it's still risky.
As for Evans, he's an unlikely pick for a role like this. However, since Proyas and Worthington stepped away, the project likely isn't as pricey and might be made on a smaller scale. This will be Evans first lead role, though he's had significant screen time in films like Clash of the Titans and The Raven. They're not the best films, but maybe this will be Evans time to shine and he can become the next big leading man. Plus, Evans will get even more exposure after 2013 is over. In addition to causing trouble in Fast & Furious 6, he's playing Bard the Bowman in the next two installments of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy. Maybe he can bring Dracula's origins story to life in an exciting way. Thoughts?