It has been exactly one year since we first heard about Dracula Year Zero, a sort of prequel to Bram Stoker's novel and all of the many movie based on it. But unlike most prequels -- which I hate -- this one is more like a historical biopic about real life Romanian ruler Vlad the Impaler, who was the inspiration for Stoker's book. Dracula Year Zero will also be doing the annoying prequel thing by portraying an iconic villain's roots, attempting to show him as a misunderstood and flawed hero. But I don't think we'll be seeing an ending where Vlad emerges out of a coffin wearing a cape and flashing his vampire teeth, in that sort of backwards set-up fashion. Of course, this is a Universal movie, so the studio may want to remind us that they are the home of the most famous Dracula image.
Dracula Year Zero now has a director attached: Alex Proyas, the uneven helmer of The Crow, Dark City and I, Robot. Proyas has also reportedly been in talks for the solo Silver Surfer movie, but with the current vampire/Dracula craze, Universal is likely looking to fast track its own project, possibly to beat The Historian especially to theaters. So, I doubt he'll be tackling that Fantastic Four 2 spinoff. Dracula Year Zero was penned by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, who say the film deals with a young Vlad at the height of his power. Proyas explained that he became interested because the script contains a sympathy for the character, who apparently just had to sell his soul to the devil in order to save his kingdom. But will we get to see a lot of heads on stakes? Hopefully we'll still get to see how terrible Vlad III was (he didn't get the name 'the Impaler' for nothing), because mindless violence is always entertaining. The more important question is how much vampire mythology will there be? Oh, and how redundant will the film be when we already have a suitable origin in the short prologue of Coppola's Dracula?