Exclusive: Guillermo del Toro Tackles Van Helsing
The Hollywood Cog delivered news this morning that sounded so familiar and almost so obvious that I'd assumed it'd already been reported elsewhere. But my Internet sleuthing has found it nowhere, so I will assume that this is a Pajiba exclusive and a wicked case of trade news Déjà vu. If someone calls us on it, however, I stand corrected in advance.
The bad news is this: Universal Pictures is developing another Van Helsing movie. However, it's not a remake. It's simply based upon the same fictional vampire hunter character from Bram Stoker's Dracula, a great character who was, by all accounts, given an unfair shake in Stephen Sommers' awful 2004 Van Helsing movie (which now sits at number 13 on our list of worst blockbusters of all time).
Here's the good news: The movie, which is being developed at del Toro productions, will be based on a forthcoming treatment written by Guillermo del Toro himself, which is being described as an "action horror story."
If anyone can do Van Helsing justice, it's del Toro, who already has the bona fides in his vampire novel The Strain, which has a Van Helsing figure in it (not to mention the fact that he directed Blade II). I honestly don't know del Toro's involvement in the project beyond producing the movie and writing the treatment (and he's now seeking a writer to expand that treatment), but with the Hobbit off his plate, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he might sit in the director's chair. That seems unlikely given the number of projects he already has in development, however, most of those projects involve him in a screenwriting or production capacity. In either respect, since Van Helsing is still in the treatment stage, it's further on down the line so no decision will have to be made anytime soon.