Universal Pictures has unveiled the first poster for its upcoming “Dracula Untold,” which flies into theaters October 17th. Luke Evans plays Vlad Tepes, the 15th century warlord who became known to history as “Dracula,” a nickname that meant variously “son of the devil” or “son of the dragon.” Bram Stoker became acquainted with the historical Dracula’s gruesome exploits (he wasn’t called “Vlad the Impaler” for nothing) and thought making the historical “bloodthirsty monster” a literary vampire seemed like a good idea, and he must have been right. His 1897 novel hasn’t been out of print for a second since it first appeared.
“Dracula Untold” will underscore the action/adventure aspects of the story over supernatural horror. The poster for the new movie emphasizes the character’s warrior nature - Evans is depicted in armor standing atop a mound of bodies. The traditional aspects aren’t ignored, though. He wears a tattered, flowing cloak which is taking on the shape of bat wings, and even turns into a swarm of bats at the outer edges.
The official synopsis released by the studio is short and to the point:
Luke Evans ("Fast & Furious 6," "Immortals") stars in "Dracula Untold," the origin story of the man who became Dracula. Gary Shore directs and Michael De Luca produces the epic action-adventure.
Most of the Dracula movies released to date haven’t dealt extensively with the character’s mortal backstory, although it is alluded to in the novel. A popular nonfiction book, “In Search of Dracula,” by Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu, was published in 1972, and brought the history of Vlad Tepes to a wider audience. This probably led screenwriter Richard Matheson to incorporate a brief flashback in his TV movie “Dracula,” directed by Dan Curtis and starred Jack Palance. Francis Ford Coppola’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” featured a similar backstory, which was treated at greater length, and had star Gary Oldman in blood red, striated armor that resembled human muscle.
“Dracula Untold” is the feature directorial debut of Gary Shore, from a script by Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless, based on characters created by Bram Stoker. Sarah Gadon (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), Diarmaid Murtagh (“The Monuments Men”), Dominic Cooper (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”) and Samantha Barks (“Les Misérables”) co-star.