Karyn Kusama‘s Dracula-inspired movie Mina Harker is no longer moving forward at Blumhouse and Miramax, Deadline reveals. Production on the film was set to start next month, but the whole project got reportedly scrapped due to creative differences between Miramax and the filmmaker.
Set in contemporary Los Angeles, Kusama’s take on history’s most iconic vampire would focus on Mina Harker, the only female lead character in Bram Stoker’s original Dracula novel. In the book, Mina is cursed by Dracula, and only gets freed from the spell once the vampire lord is killed after being exposed to the sunlight. The plot of Kusama’s film was kept in secrecy, so we do not know if the film would be a contemporary version of Stoker’s book or if it would imagine a version of Mina that never got rid of her vampiric curse, enduring through the centuries. Be it as it may, it’s a shame we’ll never get to see Blumhouse’s take on another classic Universal monster.
Mina Harker was first announced in March 2020, following the surprise smash hit The Invisible Man. Starring Elisabeth Moss and Oliver Jackson-Cohen, The Invisible Man gave the iconic story a new spin by exploring domestic violence, gaslighting, and toxic relationships. With a micro-budget of only seven million dollars, The Invisible Man hauled in more than $140 million at the international box office, allowing Blumhouse to propose several more small-budget films inspired by Universal’s monsters. One of these projects was Kusama‘s Mina Harker, which promised to offer a unique perspective on one of the most beloved books ever written by focusing on a female protagonist.
Kusama’s film would’ve featured Jasmine Cephas Jones as the titular character. The star recently received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress In A Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for portraying Tyisha in Quibi’s #freerayshawn, making her an exciting choice to lead the next Blumhouse movie with Universal monsters. Although Mina Harker was supposed to start shooting in three weeks, Cephas Jones was the only confirmed cast member.
Mina Harker’s script was penned by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, who previously worked with Kusama on The Invitation, Destroyer, and Aeon Flux. Kusama is also the director behind the provocative Jennifer’s Body and recently served as executive producer and pilot director on Showtime’s hit series Yellowjackets. Kusama was producing the movie with Jason Blum, Hay, Manfredi, and Miramax’s Bill Block.
Considering the box office success of The Invisible Man, there’s still some chance Mina Harker gets saved by a different producer now that Miramax is out of the project. Nevertheless, for the moment, Kusama’s take on Dracula is officially dead. All we can do is hope for it to rise from the coffin to haunt our nights in the near future.