Van Helsing is one of the most famed and mythic of monster hunters. The legendary character, while originating in the pages of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, has gone on to star in countless films, comics, and video games. Known primarily as a vampire hunter, the character was not only brought to life by Hugh Jackman but also once rumored to be portrayed by Tom Cruise in the Universal Monsters Universe of films. When movement on that project temporarily slowed down (with Cruise later taking on The Mummy), it was announced that Kelly Overton (True Blood) was cast as Van Helsing. Inspired casting for sure with Overton having previously played a alpha female werewolf on HBO’s popular series, Overton’s latest role as Van Helsing would be for the SyFy series of the same name.
But after announcing the news in February 2016, what else do we know so far about SyFy’s Van Helsing?
Reported on Deadline in November of 2015, fans learned of SyFy developing Van Helsing for a 13-episode season by Nomadic Pictures (Fargo). Set to air this fall of 2016, production has already started on the series.
“Van Helsing represents a new mythology in sci-fi by challenging traditional vampire rules. The series is unique in exploring a world completely dominated by vampires, while the human characters have to learn the importance of working together to ensure their survival.” – said Chad Oakes, Co-Chairman of Calgary-based Nomadic Pictures.
SyFy, no stranger to shows containing vampires and the like with their version of Being Human redefining vampire, werewolf, spectre, and zombie lore should be perfectly adept at developing a series based on Van Helsing. Neil LaBute is serving as the writer and showrunner for the series and production is already underway in Vancouver, BC.
Re imagining the classic literary character, Van Helsing “centers on Vanessa Helsing, the daughter of famous vampire hunter and Dracula nemesis Abraham Van Helsing. She is resurrected five years in the future to find out that vampires have taken over the world and that she possesses unique power over them. She is humanity’s last hope to lead an offensive to take back what has been lost.”
According to Deadline, we have the following in regards to the casting of the show:
- Jonathan Scarfe (Hell on Wheels) plays Axel, a career Marine with unwavering devotion and loyalty to both duty and his wards, despite years of isolation and endless vampire attacks.
- Christopher Heyerdahl (Hell on Wheels) will play Sam, a survivor of the vampire Rising, who relies on his strength and observational skills to stay alive.
- David Cubitt (Ray Donovan) will play John, another survivor of the vampire Rising, whose actions are fueled by anger, prejudice, suspicion and fear.
- Paul Johansson (Mad Men) will play Dimitri, a vampire turned before the Rising, he is now the patient and calculating leader of the vampires.
- Tim Guinee (Homeland) will play Ted, a vampire foot soldier who does battle with Vanessa and conceals a tragic past.
It sounds like SyFy is ready to take its viewers on quite a ride. The Resident Evil-like premise, only instead of zombies it’s vampires, along with Overton as a lead will have the show coming out of the gate strong. From the image we are saw of the poster, and of Kelly Overton’s past work she looks primed and ready to do battle; save humanity. I’m ready to see what else SyFy has to offer in the coming months in regards to Van Helsing and of when it premieres in the fall.
Stay tuned for more info on Universal Monsters Universe. In the meantime, here are a few people involved with the production that you may want to follow on Twitter: