Universal Pictures has a new Van Helsing movie in development, with an Aussie director and producer on board.
Set to direct and write a new horror-thriller set in the Van Helsing world is filmmaker Julius Avery, who made his debut with Ewan McGregor-starring crime flick Son of a Gun and followed it up with action-horror film Overlord. Avery will be rewriting the screenplay that originally came from Eric Pearson (Thor: Ragnarok, Godzilla vs Kong, Black Widow).
On board to produce are James Wan and Michael Clear, working under their Atomic Monster banner.
There are no details to go on regarding plot or casting, or just how Helsing will be depicted this time. This has the potential to be a much more adult-aimed endeavour than that ill-received attempt at a Hugh Jackman-led Van Helsing franchise back in 2004. Avery delivered a fun and gnarly gorefest with Overlord, which Universal is no doubt also taking into account.
Universal scrapped their monster universe idea – with the Mummy, Invisible Man, Wolfman, Dracula and more planned to interconnect – after Tom Cruise’s The Mummy failed. That led the studio to embark on a more filmmaker-driven approach, bringing down budget sizes and allowing for darker horror. The first round worked. Aussie filmmaker Leigh Whannell, Wan’s longtime friend and Saw collaborator, directed The Invisible Man to a $US130 million-plus gross from a budget of $US7 million.
Before we see what Avery does with Van Helsing, we’ll be seeing what he does in the superhero realm: Sylvester Stallone-starring and exec produced Samaritan, about a young boy who learns that a superhero who was thought to have gone missing after an epic battle twenty years ago may in fact still be around. That one is now post-production.