[dropcap]M[/dropcap]any actors have sunk their fangs in to the role of Dracula, and now another can be added to the distinguished list. Step forward Luke Evans, and take your place among the undead.
Bela Lugosi made the role famous, and should an actor be brave enough to try and emulate the Hungarian he will undoubtedly be compared to his 1931 portrayal of the count. That’s not to say that others have not done well in their interpretations. Of course there was Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker’s Dracula; later spoofed by Leslie Nielson in Dracula: Dead and Loving it. A pre-300 Gerard Butler was cast in Dracula 2000, a film which spawned two sequels, but many people remember the iconic duel between Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing as one of the best adaptations of the story. In the 1958 Hammer Films production of Dracula, Lee’s count and Cushing’s Van Helsing squared off in a battle of the greats. Lee went on to resurrect the count multiple times, but now it is the turn of Welsh actor Luke Evans.
The actor came to prominence playing Apollo in 2010’s Clash of the Titans, before moving swiftly up the god hierarchy to play Zeus in Immortals. Roles in big budget blockbuster sequels of The Hobbit as well as Fast & Furious 6 are on their way, before his lead in Dracula looms on the horizon.
The film itself has been titled Dracula Year Zero and is being written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, but it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for the picture. Originally it had been reported that Sam Worthington had signed to star in the Alex Proyas run vehicle, but when the director left to pursue other projects, Worthington followed suit. This left the film without a star or director and all seemed a little on the bleak side for a while. That is, until rookie director Gary Shore stepped in to save the day. Now that Evans has also confirmed, it is looking likely that Dracula will finally step in to the fray once more. Let’s hope he chooses a shaded spot.