Can ‘Overlord’ director Julius Avery make a ‘Van Helsing’ movie so good we forget about Hugh Jackman‘s 2004 outing?
Well, folks, 2020 continues to surprise. On Tuesday, it was announced a new Van Helsingmovie is in the works at Universal Pictures. Even better, UniversalPictures and producer James Wan have tapped Overlord director Julius Avery to helm the new movie.This new Van Helsing movie is not the only monster movie in the works at Universal. Also on deck is a Wolfmanmovie starring Ryan Goslingand a Dracula movie directed by Karyn Kusama.As Deadline reports it, Avery has been hired to not only direct but also rewrite the script originally penned by Eric Pearson (Godzilla vs. Kong, Black Widow, Thor: Ragnarok). No specific plot details have been revealed yet and it is unclear to what extent Avery will be reworking Pearson’s script. What is clear, per Deadline, is that Universal is developing the project as a horror/thriller (very much a comfort zone for Avery given the tone of Overlord) and this new Van Helsing movie will be set in the world of the titular Van Helsing. Additionally, it seems that Universal is open to any and all new ideas as it continues to refresh its Monsterverse library following the success of Leigh Whannell‘s The Invisible Man earlier this year. Wan will also produce under his AtomicMonster banner with Michael Clear.It’s been more than a decade since we’ve had to meaningfully think about the name “Van Helsing” in the cinematic sense. If you can cast your mind back to 2004, Hugh Jackman played Dracula’s mortal enemy in the catastrophically-received Van Helsing, which co-starred Kate Beckinsale, David Wenham, and Richard Roxburgh. Made on a $160 million budget, the movie only managed $120 million domestic at the time. The movie also failed to kickstart an intended Van Helsing film franchise, a fact I lament to this day.
It is hard to overstate just how much I love the idea of Avery tackling a new Van Helsing movie. As a lover of trash, Jackman‘s 2004 Van Helsing will always have a soft spot in my heart. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not open to new interpretations of the Van Helsing story. Upon release in 2018, it was clear Avery‘s Overlord was taking bold leaps as a horror movie. Avery‘s direction was the right balance of bloody, moody, and compelling as hell; in short, a new talent was born.
We’ll keep you posted on the new Van Helsing movie as the project develops. You can revisit Overlord on Hulu and Prime Video.