With production underway on Universal’s Monsters Universe of films, we’re bound to meet Van Helsing sooner rather than later. Screenwriter Eric Heisserer recently spoke about co-writing the upcoming film reboot.
There needs to be some clarification made in regards to the cinematic portrayal of Bram Stoker’s famous vampire killer and monster hunter, Van Helsing. There are currently two versions of the character that fans and audiences will be seeing over the coming years. Actress Kelly Overton will be playing a descendant of Van Helsing – Vanessa – in an upcoming Syfy series set to premiere this September 2016. There’s also the film version currently being developed for Universal’s upcoming Monsters Universe of shared films inspired by the 30’s-50’s classics.
While promoting his upcoming film, Lights Out, screenwriter Eric Heisserer was asked about the current status of the Van Helsing reboot. Talking to HitFix, Heisserer said:
“I can only say that early on, our inspiration for his behavior and his mannerisms was all in Mad Max. It’s early days right now. I can say that the decision that a lot of us made was to go and just write the best movie we could in our own corner and make sure it’s good on its own…and didn’t necessarily need to link arm-in arm-with anybody else. And to be tonally different from the other films. One may be a little bit more comedic, action-adventure-y, one can be very much a traditional horror piece. That kind of thing. And then we’ll see what happens as the projects evolve and we all get a chance to convene and talk, and make sure the movies feel like they’re all in the same world.”
It’s interesting hearing more of the writers speak about their current work involving the Monsters Universe. If anything, the task of not only reinvigorating but preserving the integrity and spirit of the classics falls on them. Of course, ideas and concepts could change throughout production, but to take on the task of writing movies for characters like Van Helsing seems quite the challenge. Yet it’s obvious that Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan have found some of the best writers for this universe and the monsters will have their day once again.
While certain purists and fans may be skeptical over the Mad Max influence on Van Helsing, Heisserer does say that this was “early on” and “was” as opposed to saying that this is currently the direction the film and character is taking. He also stresses that “it’s the early days” and while we know The Mummy releases June 9, 2017, there are still mystery dates for two upcoming monster movies. It’s believed that the follow up to The Mummy will either be The Wolf Man or The Invisible Man.
Heisserer, along with The Mummy‘s Jon Spaihts, have been attached to Van Helsing since signing on to write back in November of 2015. Originally, Tom Cruise was set to star and produce, but as we all know, he left that particular project and is now headlining 2017’s The Mummy.
Eric Heisserer is repped by WME, Art/Work Entertainment and Jackoway Tyerman.
(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)