Universal Pictures is taking another crack at hunting vampires and creating more content out of its movie monsters with a new Van Helsing film produced by James Wan and directed by Overlord director Julius Avery. The film is described as a “horror/thriller,” which is a long shot from the last Van Helsing film that starred Hugh Jackman and some pretty bad CGI.
Eric Pearson wrote the original script for this take on the vampire hunter who was originally born in the pages of Bram Stoker’s Dracula (and was not a vampire hunter there), but Avery is now doing rewrites on it. There’s no word on what the film will look like, but Universal is hungry to capitalize on the success of Invisible Man, so it may lean more towards psychological thriller than vampire-hunting jump scares. The studio has learned its lesson and is now avoiding any semblance of a cinematic universe or franchise blockbuster.
Avery is well known for his gory, violent movies, and a Deadline report makes it sound like this is the way Universal would like to take the franchise. It’s easy to imagine a revenge-filled film with Helsing hunting down vampires or even a movie where we question if Van Helsing is just a psychopath killing people he thinks are vampires.
This is all conjecture right now, though. Avery is wrapping production on the Sylvester Stallone vehicle Samaritan at the moment, so we won’t be seeing Van Helsing any time soon.