With the Hugh Jackman version of Van Helsing now a distant, but still very painful memory, news broke earlier this year that Universal are planning to reboot the character, with Tom Cruise playing the role of Abraham Van Helsing. The new reboot has been lingering around for years, with Guillermo del Toro at one point attached to direct, but now the reboot is moving ahead, with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci both writing and producing. The pair have worked together on other big films including Transformers and Star Trek 1 and 2.
It would seem that the writers are planning to take Van Helsing into much darker territory than the almost slapstick silliness of Stephen Sommers’ 2004 Hugh Jackman starring film, and in a recent interview with Crave Online, Kurtzman shared a few details on just what we might expect from their new film:
“Well, I don’t want to give away too much, because we are actually at the very beginning of talking about what to do with it. But I do feel like the Van Helsing that Anthony Hopkins plays in ‘[Bram Stoker’s] Dracula’ is sort of the parody version of it, and the Van Helsing that Hugh Jackman played was obviously in a different place as well. I think that these kinds of movies have evolved a lot since then. You know, ‘The Dark Knight’ was a major, major corner-turning moment in the way that genre and superhero stories could be told. Really grounded in reality. Really grounded in really cool things,” he said. “That’s what I’d like to do without sacrificing the fantasy element. We aspired to do that as well on ‘Trek,’ you know, keep it ‘real.’ That’s such a different franchise than Batman, but that’s really what we wanted to do. And we’d love to do that with Van Helsing.”
With Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight pretty much changing the face of big blockbuster movies, I am more than happy to see Van Helsing go down a more serious, darker path. However, I am not sure I agree with the comments about Anthony Hopkins portrayal being a parody, he was terrific in the role and it would be very welcome if this new version would be a little like Hopkins’ character. Either way, I am very interested to see what Tom Cruise can bring to the role, and I am very interested in this new route we are about to head down, anything is better than the last film!
By Matt Wavish