"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.