You can’t keep a good monster movie franchise down. At least, that’s what the folks at Universal Studios would want us all to believe. Though their new “Dark Universe” didn’t kick off with as much fanfare as they would have hoped with this summer’s release of The Mummy, the studio that brought us all the original monster movies is moving forward with their plans, and they have announced who they are eyeing to take on the role of Van Helsing in an upcoming film.
None other than Channing Tatum has been mentioned as the studios’ likely pick to take on the role of the vampire hunter, though a casting decision has yet to be made. Why Tatum? Given the financial disappointment of Tom Cruise’s The Mummy, the studio has changed their approach to the franchise, according to a recent piece in The Hollywood Reporter.
Universal’s desire to create a shared, cohesive universe for their long-held monster properties may require a little dabbling before they bring any of them back to the screen. According to THR, they are “polishing the script for Van Helsing, and are aiming at Tatum. That marks the first indication that Tatum’s name was in the running to play any part in Universal’s monsters franchise.
Van Helsing is the fabled nemesis of Count Dracula having been played most recently by Hugh Jackman in the 2004 film of the same name. Other greats have taken on the role include Anthony Hopkins in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Laurence Olivier in the 1979 Dracula, and Peter Cushing in several Hammer Studios produced horror movies.
The studio has been kicking around the idea of a new Van Helsing movie for more than a decade and given the nature of the character, he would be perfect to introduce into this shared universe. As of the writing of this article, there is no release date scheduled for Van Helsing, but Universal is presently forging ahead and is “prepping an offer to Angelina Jolie for Bride of Frankenstein” so the low take on The Mummy doesn’t seem to be slowing down their plans… Well, they have slowed to allow more time for script development, but you know what we mean.
The Mummy has pulled in just under $400 million worldwide, which isn’t a paltry sum, though it is far less than the studio imagined for its tentpole summer release. Only $79 million came in from the domestic audience so going back and rethinking the script for Van Helsing and other projects in the monster universe is certainly prudent.
As we said, this news is simply what the studio has leaked as far as to who they are interested in snagging for the role. When something more certain comes out, be sure to keep an eye on NerdBastards and we break that news!