WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
In an alternate 19th century London, Van Helsing’s head is stuck on a spike in traitors’ cloister, and Count Dracula runs Great Britain as a police state with his bride, Queen Victoria, at his side. Vampires are fast becoming the dominant race in Europe, mingling in all levels of society, from the social elite down to impoverished street urchins. Whilst some members of the living embrace this new utopia, there are dissenters who wish to free themselves of Dracula’s rule. When a series of vampire prostitutes are killed in Whitechapel, it is seen as the start of the “warm” revolution. Charles Beauregard, a spy for the ultra-secretive Diogenes Club, is engaged by The Crown to investigate a murderer that some are calling Jack The Ripper. Along the way, Charles becomes entangled with Genevieve Dieudonne, a senior vampire, who, in recent years, has found herself slumming it as a volunteer at an in-between house for the destitute undead.
WHY WOULD IT MAKE A GOOD MOVIE?
Written by British film critic and horror aficionado, Kim Newman, Anno Dracula is a love letter, not just to Bram Stoker’s original novel, but to the canon of 19th century literature as a whole. Historical figures, such as Oscar Wilde and Joseph Merrick (aka The Elephant Man), share the stage with the likes of Dr. Moreau, Nosferatu, and Professor Moriarty. With the killer quickly revealed to be asylum administrator, Jack Seward, Anno Dracula is less a whodunit and more about character and setting. With three other books in the series – that encompass everything from Giallo and James Bond to the works of Federico Fellini and George A. Romero – this could be the franchise that literally has something for everyone.
WHO SHOULD MAKE IT?
Guillermo Del Toro can confidently construct tangible and believable worlds. Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone flaunt the fantastical, but are gently weighed down by reality. Even when he’s let off the leash with works like Hellboy, Del Toro always brings it back to the characters, and not just the set pieces. With his obvious love of the macabre and classic literature, Del Toro would be the perfect adaptor for Anno Dracula.
WHO SHOULD BE IN IT?
Michael Fassbender would be perfect for the role of secret agent, Charles Beauregard. His acclaimed performance in Shame shows that he can play suave and smooth, as well as dark and brooding, which would come in handy for a spy that’s marrying his dead wife’s sister simply because she looks so much like her. The role of Jack Seward requires someone who can flick between manic and morose, whilst maintaining a semblance of normality in public. Well, if American Psycho has shown us anything, it’s that Christian Bale is not averse to playing a character with two distinct sides. Handling the complexities of playing a 500-year-old vampire trapped in a sixteen-year-old girl’s body may sound like a job for Kristen Stewart, but Emilia Clarke is actually the perfect embodiment of the vampiric Genevieve. Clarke’s journey from delicate princess to butt-kicking leader in Game Of Thrones proves that she can handle the mixture of delicacy and grit needed for the role.