While there are a lot (and sometimes just way too many) vampire-themed films out there, whether it’s a spoof flick or a film series, “Dracula Untold” is all set to stand out. Why? Well, the team behind the film have said that they’re out to defy the “overly done vampire movie” trend by doing something different – combining historical facts with the fantastical. Or should we say, fang-tastical.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula may haven been inspired by Vlad the Impaler, but Dracula Untold’s first-time feature writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless decided to take the connection literally. In “Dracula Untold”, Dracula is Vlad the Impaler.
Here are some things you need to know about “Dracula Untold”, from the set:
1. Producer Alissa Phillips called the film “an epic, sweeping, action, fantasy film. It’s much more in the land of The Lord of The Rings tonally”. But that doesn’t mean that you should expect to see loads of carnage. Phillips also noted, “We want kids to enjoy this. Blood is an omnipresent iconic story point of vampirism. We can’t deny that, but gore doesn’t have to be. If you want to see a film about Vlad the Impaler, this is probably not it.”
2. “Dracula Untold” is director Gary Shore’s very first feature film. Actress Sarah Gadon (who plays Mirena, wife of Vlad) called Gary Shore a “baby Spielberg” because “He’s got all this kind of youthful zest and zeal for romance and love, and it’s like really kind of early Spielberg stuff.”
3. Vlad is based on Vlad III or Vlad Tepes, which translates to Vlad the Impaler. There are a lot of biased history books out there, but Luke Evans (who plays Vlad Tepes) insisted that Vlad wasn’t such a bad guy. He wasn’t a terrifying warlord, but rather, a revered leader. His tombstone even says, “He was a great ruler and respected by his enemies”.
4. In the movie, Vlad willingly becomes a vampire by drinking blood from a chalice in Caligula’s cave. Yes, Caligula, the Roman emperor who ruled from 37 AD to 41 AD, known for his cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and sexual perversity, presenting him as an insane tyrant. The abilities Vlad gains after visiting Caligula include speaking without opening his mouth, flying, jumping, immortality, healing capabilities, and also a lot of confidence.
5. Even though Vlad does feel the need to drink human blood, he does everything he can to resist it out of his love for his family and for his people. And when he goes to bite someone, we will see a physical transformation that’s “unique to this film”, according to Luke Evans.
6. Oh, also, Luke Evans wears fangs at times in the movie, but he actually has his very own set naturally. Not sure why.
7. Sarah Gadon has 2 types of outfits in the film, some rather elaborate costumes and then some simpler ones that they called “day glam”. One of her more uncomfortable yet stunning pieces is a crown made of pearls and lace that comes down and tends to cut her forehead a bit.
8. Roughly two thirds of “Dracula Untold” is shot on location and a third of it is shot on a stage. The film will also feature Borgo Pass (a high mountain pass in the Romanian Bârgău Mountains). That portion of the film was shot in a rock quarry and will involve a significant amount of set extension work.
9. According to Luke Evans, this is what a day on set might be like for him – picked up at 5am, on set by 8am, about 14 hours on set, hopefully eating dinner by 9:30pm and in bed by 10:30pm with whatever time he can squeeze in for the gym in between. Phew!
So, you ready for it?
Dracula Untold will be released in a cinema near you on 2nd October.
For more information, visit the movie’s official website.