Chloé Zhao, award-winning director behind The Rider and Nomadland (Paste’s pick for the best film of 2020), has found another genre project to tackle before we even get to see how she did in the MCU with Eternals. Zhao is hopping aboard Universal’s plans to reimagine their roster of classic movie monsters and she snagged the big one: Dracula.
While it was announced last year that Karyn Kusama would be helming a Dracula film for Blumhouse, her’s was always pitched as a relatively faithful adaptation of Bram Stoker’s source material. Zhao’s take on the vampire? Not so much. The version that she’s writing and directing shouts its uniqueness in three simple words: “futuristic, sci-fi Western.”
This genre mix sounds more Vampire Hunter D or even The Dark Tower than traditional castles n’ creeps Dracula. But Zhao’s Rider and Nomadland have been extremely potent in their Western-adjacent Americana in both imagery and storyline, so this might just be the aesthetic in which she works best. But really…sci-fi too?
“I’ve always been fascinated by vampires and the concept of the Other they embody,” said Zhao. Dracula is certainly a fringe presence—which is also a theme that likely factored into Zhao’s take on Marvel’s Eternals...a movie that we’ll all get to presumably see, eventually. Will this bananas blend of genres do for Dracula what The Invisible Man did last year? Will it stomp on Blade or Underworld’s toes? Who knows, but it’s too absurd not to get on board with.