Dracula Untold Trailer... Tells. About Dracula.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Dracula Untold Trailer... Tells. About Dracula.

"So what's this guy's power?" "He turns into a bat." "Boring. Do better." "...he turns into MANY bats?"

By now most everyone knows that Bram Stoker based his genre-defining vampire story Dracula loosely on Wallachian ruler Vlad Tepes III, aka "Vlad the Impaler," a 15th Century Romanian prince renowned for his cruelty and elaborate methods of torture. Universal's Dracula Untold, the first trailer for which is now online, looks to put a superhero-flavored spin on Prince Vlad's (somewhat murky) backstory: think Maleficent: Testosterone Edition.

Judging by the historical figures in the cast, the film appears to be set around the 1460s during the Ottoman Empire's attempted invasion of Wallachia under Sultan Mehmed II (aka "Mehmed The Conquerer," here played by Dominic Cooper) which was (temporarily) halted by the famously brutal Night Attack wherein Tepes made a name for himself after refusing to pay tribute to the Ottomans, who claimed dominion over that part of Europe at the time.

In the film, Vlad (Luke Evans), angered at the Sultan for demanding that Wallachian children be drafted as Ottoman soldiers, seeks out an ancient mystery-man (Charles Dance) in order to acquire vampire super-powers he can use to fight for his people. Presumably, there are consequences to this he was not intending. There is also a character on hand named "Van Helsen," while Les Miserables' Samantha Barks is set to turn up as a version of Slavic folklore witch Baba Yaga.

The project originally began as Dracula: Year Zero as a star vehicle for Sam Worthington and director Alex Proyas; but will now be the feature debut for director Gary Shore. The film is set for an October 17th release in the U.S.

Source: Universal

Permalink

I'm guessing we're going to be seeing a lot of this now. Villains reimagined as sympathetic anti-heroes.

canadamus_prime:
I'm guessing we're going to be seeing a lot of this now. Villains reimagined as sympathetic anti-heroes.

It's funny, because this is basically exactly the formula they were using back when Dracula was written. There were crappy pulp magazines turning everyone from mythical monsters like Springheel Jack to actual, honest-to-goodness bastards like Dick Turpin into misunderstood gothic heroes.

The trend seemed to die down for a bit. Now it's coming full circle.

Rutskarn:

canadamus_prime:
I'm guessing we're going to be seeing a lot of this now. Villains reimagined as sympathetic anti-heroes.

It's funny, because this is basically exactly the formula they were using back when Dracula was written. There were crappy pulp magazines turning everyone from mythical monsters like Springheel Jack to actual, honest-to-goodness bastards like Dick Turpin into misunderstood gothic heroes.

The trend seemed to die down for a bit. Now it's coming full circle.

But wasn't Dracula always an irredeemable bastard? Or am I just thinking of that one movie?

So, Tywin, as a vampire, again. He looks a little bored. Probably been in that mountain for too long. Other than that, I like the visuals, kinda like Castlevania Lord of Shadows 2, with the Dark Prince fully realizing his powers as an army is set to lay siege. Luke Evans needed a star vehicle - he's played secondary roles in more movies than I can count. Now I gotta find that version of "Everybody Wants to Rule The World". It sounds appropriately gothic for my taste.

This looks to be a good dumb movie, a dumb good movie, or a bad movie. I can't see this being as having anything to say in the way Maleficent did, which only leaves visceral action to fall back on.... unless they decide to abuse the meaning behind the original Dracula (Dracula was meant to represent lust, more or less... Kind of an old way to look at it in this day and age, but it could work). Actually, i wonder how well a rape metaphor from the prospective of the rapist would sit with movie goers...

So, we have a guy who wants to save the day and in order to do that he gets all those powers and eventually becomes vampire Dracula and the humanity turns on him and there's also Baba Yaga in it.
Looks like the scriptwriters for this one played a lot of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.
Oh well. I hope this time the part when he's actually the vampire won't suck.

Looks pretty dull to me. I don't like the fact that they turned becomming a vampire into a deal with the devil.

A much greater movie would have been, if he just gradually slipped into cruelty, partially due to the pressure of defending against the ottomans and his need to build up a reputation for ruthlessness. You know, like a real person would have? And eventually, that change to his personality manifests in his body and he becomes something other than human.

But they, at least we get CGI-Bats punching turks. Never seen that before.

Exterminas:
Looks pretty dull to me. I don't like the fact that they turned becomming a vampire into a deal with the devil.
A much greater movie would have been, if he just gradually slipped into cruelty, partially due to the pressure of defending against the ottomans and his need to build up a reputation for ruthlessness. You know, like a real person would have? And eventually, that change to his personality manifests in his body and he becomes something other than human.

Funny...that was exactly what I thought when watching the trailer.
Woulve probably made for a better story and one more grounded in Draculs real actions (Impalements an all...)
Instead he is the godd guy who just wants to defend his family and made a deal with the guy....its getting old, honestly.

Let's turn one of the most fucked up psychopaths in history into a sympathetic anti-hero, because vampires...

Oh hey, Baba Yaga's in this.

Can't we just get a live action movie of the Hellsing Anime? Its one of very few anime that could actually work as a live action and Alucard is the definitive Vampire as far as I am concerned.

Now the movie..... looked boring until the last 20 seconds or so, he's going to do some cool stuff with his powers but nothing else of interest. There is nothing sympathetic about Dracula, he's an asshole.

I always though the canon origin of Dracula was Cain, brother of Abel, son's of Adam and Eve who was cursed by god and his children to walk the earth in eternal darkness for murdering his brother out of jealousy or was that just the origin of vampires not Dracula =)

RealRT:
So, we have a guy who wants to save the day and in order to do that he gets all those powers and eventually becomes vampire Dracula and the humanity turns on him and there's also Baba Yaga in it.
Looks like the scriptwriters for this one played a lot of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.
Oh well. I hope this time the part when he's actually the vampire won't suck.

In both cases I have no clue what Babba Yaga is doing there. I thought she was from the 1600's to the 1700's. According to Wikipedia, the first reference to her was in 1755 with similar characters being older. It's like if Sherlock Holmes just showed up in the crusades.

KaZuYa:
I always though the canon origin of Dracula was Cain, brother of Abel, son's of Adam and Eve who was cursed by god and his children to walk the earth in eternal darkness for murdering his brother out of jealousy or was that just the origin of vampires not Dracula =)

That's the World of Darkness RPG/video game series.

Vampires are not meant to be characters you sympathize with. They're bastards, through and through.

Alucard from Hellsing is a perfect example of this.

Pseudonym2:

RealRT:
So, we have a guy who wants to save the day and in order to do that he gets all those powers and eventually becomes vampire Dracula and the humanity turns on him and there's also Baba Yaga in it.
Looks like the scriptwriters for this one played a lot of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.
Oh well. I hope this time the part when he's actually the vampire won't suck.

In both cases I have no clue what Babba Yaga is doing there. I thought she was from the 1600's to the 1700's. According to Wikipedia, the first reference to her was in 1755 with similar characters being older. It's like if Sherlock Holmes just showed up in the crusades.

First of all, it was the first textual reference that was found. She was a character in oral lore for centuries. Said oral lore was exclusive to simple folk, none of which were literate. Said reference belongs to Mikhail Lomonosov, a scientist and literator (and a brilliant one) who grew up in a peasant family. So when he was young, he was exposed to those tales and myths and thus he referenced them. Second, she's a fairy tale character, you can put her whenever you want.

SKBPinkie:
Vampires are not meant to be characters you sympathize with. They're bastards, through and through.

Alucard from Hellsing is a perfect example of this.

"Are not meant" why not? I personally like it more when there's more to villain character than "he is x, therefore he is villain and you can assume he picks his teeth with baby bones after eating a full meal of puppies". It is not like it some holy lawn written down by Bram that henceforth all vampires are chaotic evil. Heck, if we thought that newer version can never differ from the original, Warcraft would not have orcs who are capable of negotiation.

That being said, can Hollywood at some point move away from the Idea that best way to make character sympathetic is to stick a wife and kid on him and say: "He needs to protect these plot devices."?

Despite this I am slightly optimistic about this film, though I fear there is going to be some heavily moralizing ending about how some means just don't justify the cause.

Exterminas:
Looks pretty dull to me. I don't like the fact that they turned becomming a vampire into a deal with the devil.

Actually that's been part of Dracula's lore for a very long time, ever since he was considered to be something more than human. The name "Dracula" means "Son of the Dragon", which back then was another way of saying "Son of the Devil". So yeah, it's always been part of his mythos that he's in some way connected to Satan, be it because he was a warlord who cursed the name of God to the point where Satan "blessed" him with vampirism or, as this movie implies, that he willingly sold his soul to become what he is.

Of course, in real life he earned that nickname because of the horrific atrocities he committed, such as terrifying the invading army by lining the road to his castle with rotting, festering corpses impaled on spears. However for the purposes of fiction, there's nothing wrong or out of place by depicting a "deal with the devil" scenario regarding Dracula.

On another note, seeing a couple of people compare this to Lords of Shadow actually makes me wonder how a live action Castlevania movie would turn out. :P

Welp that looked cheesy as hell. But the good kind of guilty pleasure cheesy, just something you can sit back and watch with a tub of popcorn and friends and just laugh at. The soundtrack didn't help either.

Remus:
So, Tywin, as a vampire, again. He looks a little bored. Probably been in that mountain for too long. Other than that, I like the visuals, kinda like Castlevania Lord of Shadows 2, with the Dark Prince fully realizing his powers as an army is set to lay siege. Luke Evans needed a star vehicle - he's played secondary roles in more movies than I can count. Now I gotta find that version of "Everybody Wants to Rule The World". It sounds appropriately gothic for my taste.

Thank you! That was starting to drive me nuts figuring out what song that was..

Makabriel:

Remus:
So, Tywin, as a vampire, again. He looks a little bored. Probably been in that mountain for too long. Other than that, I like the visuals, kinda like Castlevania Lord of Shadows 2, with the Dark Prince fully realizing his powers as an army is set to lay siege. Luke Evans needed a star vehicle - he's played secondary roles in more movies than I can count. Now I gotta find that version of "Everybody Wants to Rule The World". It sounds appropriately gothic for my taste.

Thank you! That was starting to drive me nuts figuring out what song that was..

It's Lorde's cover of Tear for Fears "Everybody wants to rule the world" also used for Hunger Games : Catching Fire and the music for Assassins Creed : Unity

Who came actually up with the fact that vampires are burned by the sun? Bram Stoker was not it. In the original book Dracula wore a straw hat to protect himself from the sun that was enough, no burning, no sparkling.

Symbio Joe:
Who came actually up with the fact that vampires are burned by the sun? Bram Stoker was not it. In the original book Dracula wore a straw hat to protect himself from the sun that was enough, no burning, no sparkling.

Somewhere down the line sunlight just became a death sentence for vamps as opposed to a power limiter/weakener. Honestly the way I interpret it is you have to be an old as hell badass vampire to be able to walk in the sun.

Burchy22:
Can't we just get a live action movie of the Hellsing Anime? Its one of very few anime that could actually work as a live action and Alucard is the definitive Vampire as far as I am concerned.

Now the movie..... looked boring until the last 20 seconds or so, he's going to do some cool stuff with his powers but nothing else of interest. There is nothing sympathetic about Dracula, he's an asshole.

I've been thinking that for years. I'd think Benedict Cumberbatch would be Alucard in it. Probably won't work out though since Hollywood's track record of adapting anything that isn't based from theatre, a book, or western comic tends to be average or terrible.

I think, I heard Bram Stoker puking in his grave.
Another lame CGI-spectacle for those, who are easy to impress.

Pseudonym2:
It's like if Sherlock Holmes just showed up in the crusades.

Forget Dracula. I want a movie about a time traveling Sherlock Holmes solving a murder mystery during the crusades now... That sounds like it would be incredibly, stupidly, entertaining!

Michael Tabbut:

Burchy22:
Can't we just get a live action movie of the Hellsing Anime? Its one of very few anime that could actually work as a live action and Alucard is the definitive Vampire as far as I am concerned.

Now the movie..... looked boring until the last 20 seconds or so, he's going to do some cool stuff with his powers but nothing else of interest. There is nothing sympathetic about Dracula, he's an asshole.

I've been thinking that for years. I'd think Benedict Cumberbatch would be Alucard in it. Probably won't work out though since Hollywood's track record of adapting anything that isn't based from theatre, a book, or western comic tends to be average or terrible.

You know I imagine that casting Cumberbatch would be the popular, and most probable, decision in that circumstance, but I don't think it would be the best one, personally. You know who I think would make the best choice for Alucard? Daniel Day Lewis. No seriously, think about it, almost all of his best known characters (with the exception of Lincoln)are some variation of "Absolute monster barely hiding his true nature until such time he is immune to the consequences of his actions", which to me follows perfectly into Alucard's position as somebody who is nearly completely isolated from anything approaching real consequences. Not to mention that his delivery and presence would probably be perfect for the character, I mean imagine the guy who did this.

Doing this.

To me it's just too perfect an idea to pass up. Although yeah, if they ever actually made a Hellsing movie it probably wouldn't actually be that awesome. :(

Burchy22:
Can't we just get a live action movie of the Hellsing Anime? Its one of very few anime that could actually work as a live action and Alucard is the definitive Vampire as far as I am concerned.

Now the movie..... looked boring until the last 20 seconds or so, he's going to do some cool stuff with his powers but nothing else of interest. There is nothing sympathetic about Dracula, he's an asshole.

No, we really shouldn't. Hellsing is the type of anime I never ever want to see done with real people. It's just such a mess when it leaves its own niche that I wouldn't be able to watch it without cringing, and this is from someone who actually enjoyed the damn thing. It's just too much. If a movie comes out under that title, it would have to strip away 90% of the original to even be considered decent.

Just a little... clarification, from what I can gather about Vlad here.

Vlad III, was the son of Vlad II, Dracul, Dracul being his name because he was inducted into the Order of the Dragon, a Christian chivalric order, which at the time composed a number of nobles, almost all of which were opposed to the Ottoman Empire's expansion (hence the patronymic "Dracula", meaning "Son of the Dragon". Dracula has since that time come to mean "Son of the Devil", but this was not the connotation at the time, from what I can tell, and both Vlad II and Vlad III were reportedly quite pious, to some extent).

A little note about his name: Vlad wrote his name as "Wladislaus Dragwlya", which might mean he'd have gone by "Vladislav Dracula", but I'm not certain. "Tepes" is simply Romanian for "The Impaler", and he wasn't called this during his life, only after. However, the Turks did call him "Kazikli Bey" during his life, which means "Sir Impaler" or perhaps "Impaler Prince".

Despite his father's induction into the order, he felt the need to secure power in his country, which was constantly shifting rulers, and so Vlad II paid tribute to the sultan, and gave him his younger sons: Vlad III and Radu cel Frumos ("The Handsome") in order to secure the throne. Mircea II, Vlad II's oldest son, fought against the Ottomans openly with his father's knowledge, but without his support. He even captured a fort, but Vlad made more deals with the Ottomans and they basically got it back. The Hungarians started a campaign against the Ottomans but the battle was a failure. Mircea II and Vlad II (who had to at least look like he was siding with the Hungarians) blamed it on the commander, John Hunyadi.

Later on, boyars (nobles, basically) in league with Hunyadi attacked and killed Vlad II and Mircea II. It's said that Mircea II was blinded with iron stakes, and buried alive at Targoviste...

All this was going on while Vlad III and Radu were under the care of the Ottomans. Radu converted to Islam, and ingratiated himself to the sultan's son (and future sultan), Mehemed II, but by all reports Vlad III remained defiant, and was constantly punished for his insubordination.

(A quick footnote about Vlad's other half-brother, Vlad Calugarul ("The Monk"). He never really participated in the affairs described herein, and was rather pious. He did take the throne for a short while, but this was a while after the events of his brother's affairs.)

Despite this, when Vlad II (who remember, was backed by the Ottomans) was killed, the Ottomans marched to Wallachia and sat Vlad III on the throne as a proxy. This didn't last long before the Hungarians came in and put Vladislav II of the Danesti clan on the throne. Vlad III managed to flee to his uncle's in Moldovia, who was promptly assassinated, so Vlad III fled to Hungary, where he pleased the nobles with his extensive knowledge, and unyielding contempt for the Ottomans.

Mehmed II captured Constantinople, and Hunyadi (I think he was a regent, or governor, but I'm gonna call him "ruler" for now, despite the inaccuracy) launched a counterattack, while Vlad made his way back home, and reportedly defeated Vladislav II of Danesti. And this is finally where we get into the meat of his "reign of terror".

Wallachia was in an AWFUL state at this point, and whether or not you agree with stringent intimidation and harsh punishment for minor offenses, holy crap did it work. It's rumored that he placed a golden cup on a fountain in one town, knowing that nobody would steal it, and that nobody ever did. Vlad III eliminated most of the boyars, and replaced them with foreigners, or others who were inclined to be loyal solely to him. In lower positions, he preferred knights and free peasants. At one point, it's said that he gathered the homeless, poor, or other people he might have considered generally useless into a wood hut on the pretense of a feast, and then burned the building with them in it.

But he also strengthened the country's economy with new villages, farmland, and limited foreign traders to three towns, allowing local merchants more range, which built a stronger internal economy.

He blamed some Transylvanian Saxons about as much as he blamed the boyars for his country's problems, and raided their castles, impaling some nobles, and using the loot to pay his armies and mercenaries.

There was impaling, nailing turbans to people's heads, impaling, burning, impaling, SURPRISE ATTACK! Lots of guerrilla warfare, since Vlad spoke fluent Turkish and knew their customs and whatnot.

He killed thousands upon thousands of Turks (not all of them personally, though reports say he liked to be directly involved), and sometimes didn't bother counting the ones he burned or beheaded. Christians across Europe celebrated Vlad's massively successful campaigns. But eventually, Vlad had to withdraw to Moldovia, his brother Radu led a contingent of janissaries who were able to move in, and Vlad ran out of money, so he went to Matthias Corvinus, John Hunyadi's son. Who imprisoned him, on accusation of treason, because Matthias had spent all the money the Pope gave him to use in the war effort on hookers and blow (not literally, but seriously, up in smoke).

Look, I think you guys get it at this point. As far as the historical Vlad the Impaler goes, well... I don't see psychopathy or even sociopathy in his profile. I see a warlord, yes, but despite his insidious tactics, he was hardly considered worse than his adversaries, or many of the other famous warlords before him. He was a military intellect, a tactician, and the victim of a number of betrayals: his father's betrayal, his brother's betrayal, and the betrayal of a lot of allies.

I don't know about "tragic anti-hero", but he definitely wasn't a blatant monster. Not the historical Vlad Dracula. The one in the books even, is sort of more a "romantic villain".

Also, in the books, many of Dracula's abilities were learned from some academy of Satan in the Carpathians, where they taught black magic. In fact, it was presumed that this was the source of his shapeshifting, which also extended to a wolf, a cloud of mist, and a rat/pack of rats(?) (it's been a while). The vampirism itself doesn't seem to have anything to do with shapeshifting.

I'm... curious about this movie, but also very heavily invested in trying to learn more about the historical Vlad Dracula, so I feel like I'll grind my teeth at some of the inaccuracies, despite knowing that I can't expect them to do a documentary. I think I'll see it, but I don't know if I'll like it. Maybe I'll rent it or something.

I continue to be exasperated by how no one seems to be able to do anything more interesting with mythological/literary/fairy tale adaptations and spin-offs than ape the Lord of The Rings. The second I heard "Dracula origin story" the first thing I thought was "so it will involve big armies fighting in a vaguely magic-tinged past" and lo and behold, I was right. They even subjected ALICE IN WONRDERLAND to this treatment, for fuck's sake.

The only counter-example I can think of off the top of my head is Oz: The Great and Powerful which as far as I can tell was content to tell a smaller character-focused story. I wish more of these movies would take that approach.

Ehh.

I too would rather have a more even blend of Vlad Tepes gradually turning into The Dracula. Maybe while actually including his brother and the intrigue with his nobles and portraying the Ottomans as something more than ostentatious boy killers.
Something more in the way of the manga/anime Berserk than what this will be.
Also Daniel Day Lewis as Vlad would be amazing.

canadamus_prime:

Rutskarn:

canadamus_prime:
I'm guessing we're going to be seeing a lot of this now. Villains reimagined as sympathetic anti-heroes.

It's funny, because this is basically exactly the formula they were using back when Dracula was written. There were crappy pulp magazines turning everyone from mythical monsters like Springheel Jack to actual, honest-to-goodness bastards like Dick Turpin into misunderstood gothic heroes.

The trend seemed to die down for a bit. Now it's coming full circle.

But wasn't Dracula always an irredeemable bastard? Or am I just thinking of that one movie?

In truth, the only real accounts of Vlad's cruelty came from those who wanted him deposed in the first place. Some accounts point to the Ottoman (and exclusively Ottoman) impalement victims having been already dead, pointing towards grisly shows of dominance rather than over-the-top torture. History is history, and there's little we know for sure, but I personally see Vlad as what you would call a "hero" of the Crusades, keeping his enemy from expanding westward at all costs. Did he do anything remotely dark though? Well, sure. Just about every nation implemented torture back then, I doubt he was special.

Nieroshai:

canadamus_prime:

Rutskarn:

It's funny, because this is basically exactly the formula they were using back when Dracula was written. There were crappy pulp magazines turning everyone from mythical monsters like Springheel Jack to actual, honest-to-goodness bastards like Dick Turpin into misunderstood gothic heroes.

The trend seemed to die down for a bit. Now it's coming full circle.

But wasn't Dracula always an irredeemable bastard? Or am I just thinking of that one movie?

In truth, the only real accounts of Vlad's cruelty came from those who wanted him deposed in the first place. Some accounts point to the Ottoman (and exclusively Ottoman) impalement victims having been already dead, pointing towards grisly shows of dominance rather than over-the-top torture. History is history, and there's little we know for sure, but I personally see Vlad as what you would call a "hero" of the Crusades, keeping his enemy from expanding westward at all costs. Did he do anything remotely dark though? Well, sure. Just about every nation implemented torture back then, I doubt he was special.

I wasn't talking about Vlad though. I was talking about Dracula, the entirely fictional character who's loosely based on Vlad. However much of an irredeemable bastard Vlad may or may not have been is not what I was asking about.

Looks interesting to me. I don't see a problem except for the part where everyone on the internet has seen everything and are morally obligated to be completely cynical about every single thing. Also, for those questioning it, turning a villain into a tragic anti-hero is not new by a long stretch, it's just new to the movie industry. I for one am glad to see it happen. Yes, we will probably be inundated with movies that do this very thing, but then it'll fade into the background and we can add it to a whole lot of potential character arcs in movies that we will never see.

Looks pretty cool, would like to see more Alucard from Hellsing though, but what can ya do...

KingPiccolOwned:

To me it's just too perfect an idea to pass up. Although yeah, if they ever actually made a Hellsing movie it probably wouldn't actually be that awesome. :(

Alas the closest we'd get to that is watching the Ultimate episodes back to back.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here