Quick, name an actor who has played Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, and Zorro. Okay, the title gives the truth away but Frank Langella has played all those parts and so many more.
He is best known for his portrayal of the 37th President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in the film (and play) Frost/Nixon. That role found him nominated for both an Oscar and a Tony. He would go on to win four Tony awards for his roles in Frost/Nixon, The Father, Seascape, and Fortune’s Fool.
However, despite his success as a mainstream actor, Langella has gone on to perform in several nerd-centric roles.
Here are just a few of the noteworthy parts he played that brought him to the notice of nerds everywhere.
Television has seen its fair share of sci-fi and horror-centric shows recently – zombies and aliens and Ultramegachickens, oh my! – but cable TV will get a bit spookier soon, when Dark Horse Comics’ “Harrow County” creeps into the SyFy lineup. The network is developing a drama based on the comic by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook. (more…)
For the record, Christopher Lee was a tall guy. At an imposing 6’5″ frame and with a hypnotically basso voice (and naturally accented as British), this was a man born to make horror movies. That was Lee’s bread and butter for much of his career, but the actor will be fondly remembered for so much more than playing Dracula for years and years. As you may have noticed, we are now talking about Christopher Lee in the past tense because he passed away from respiratory problems and heart failure while hospitalized Sunday (the delay was so that his family would not find out through the news_. For movie geeks the world over, Lee defined intimidation and regality in equal measure, and continued to be very much in demand and working well into his 93rd year. But to quote Edwin Stanton when he remarked on the massing of another tall man, Abraham Lincoln, now he belongs to the ages. (more…)
In the divorce between writing partners Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, it seems that while Orci will keep Star Trek, Kurtzman will continue to be a part of the Universal Studios Monsters franchise by doubling down on The Mummy, now not just as its co-screenwriter, but as its director. In what will be his directorial follow-up to the 2012 disappointment People Like Us, Kurtzman takes it on himself to not just relaunch Universal’s Mummy franchise, but to start the ball rolling in realizing a shared universe for Universal’s Monster line-up which includes Dracula, Frankenstein and The Wolfman. (more…)
Dracula, The Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Mummy, and pals are set to be rebooted by their original creators: Universal Pictures. Plans are in set to make cinema’s most famous fiends into an interconnected series of new films–much like Marvel has done with its superhero characters, and Warner Bros is doing with the denizens of DC comics.
But before you scorn Universal for besmirching the legacy of some of the greatest characters in filmdom with a modern-day gimmick, it’s important to remember that these characters BEGAN as part of an interconnected universe. Standalone films like Dracula and Frankenstein eventually evolved into multi-monster pictures like Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, House of Dracula, and House of Frankenstein.
And now, under the creative authority of Alex Kurtzman–who worked on the Transformers and Star Trek films with former partner Roberto Orci–and Fast and Furious franchise scribe Chris Morgan, the Universal Monsters are getting a long overdue silver-screen “reunion”. (more…)
If I had a nickel every time someone in Hollywood didn’t do something because of “creative differences”… The latest casualty of the oldest excuse in Tinseltown is The Mummy reboot, the movie that’s supposed to launch a shared-universe kind of franchise featuring the classic Universal Studios monsters. This isn’t the first roadblock hit by the franchise-in-waiting, but it is the latest, and it’s likely to make the launch of the Monster-verse (trademark pending) delayed even further. (more…)
This time on The BastardCast, Jason and Jeremy discuss the world of the psychic and supernatural while also investigating the world of ghost dating. Also, the pain and gain of bad boys trying to throw an air conditioner at Michael Bay, crack addled mice, the mustache hall of fame, bacon and your bits, and President Terminator and Vice President Dennis Rodman. (more…)
NBC‘s newest series Dracula has a trailer out. The show-runner and lead writer is Dan Knauf, creator of HBO’s Carnivàle. That man knows how to write creepy. The trailer is also quick to point out the Downtown Abby and Tudors background of the talent working on the show. It’s not the Dracula story we all know and expect, so I’m not sure which side of the fence I’ll land. It’ll watch a few episodes before I sharpen the pitchfork and light the torch.
Dracula comes to London, posing as an American entrepreneur who wants to bring modern science to the Victorian city. In reality, Dracula seeks revenge on those who betrayed him centuries earlier. As Dracula’s plans move toward fruition, he falls hopelessly in love with a woman who may be a reincarnation of his deceased wife.
The series stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Dracula/Alexander Grayson), Jessica De Gouw (Mina Murray), Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Jonathan Harker – a gauche journalist who’s desperate to climb the ranks of aristocracy.), Katie McGrath (Lucy Westenra), Nonso Anozie (R.M. Renfield – Dracula’s loyal confidante and keeper of secrets.), Victoria Smurfit (Lady Jane – fashionable woman who is immediately enticed by the King of Vampires.), Thomas Kretschmann (Abraham Van Helsing), and Michael Nardone (Hermann Kruger).
An interesting side note is thatKretschmann played Dracula in the 2012 Italian horror film, Dracula 3D. Now he gets a chance to play the other side of the iconic conflict.
Just because the world needs yet another vampire film and fast, Universal Pictures has decided to put together one more adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic tale of Dracula. Currently the show has cast Luke Evans and Sarah Gadon and today it looks like they’ve added someone new to the list – Dominic Cooper.
For those of you that don’t recognize the name (i.e.: most of you), Cooper is the guy that played the in-the-past version of Howard Stark in the first Captain America flick. No word yet on who he’ll be playing in this one, though I do wonder if maybe his involvement in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter may have gotten him typecast.
Given the mediocre talent level that this film is collecting and the predictably recycled subject matter, I’m guessing the new Dracula is going to be one hell of a turkey.
If you feel the need to mark your calendar, it’s scheduled to release on August 8th of 2014.
After a great turn as Huntress on the CW’s Arrow, Deadline is reporting Jessica de Gouw has been cast as Mina Murray in NBC and Sky Living‘s ten episode mini-series, Dracula. The titular vampire is being played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, star of HBO’s The Tudors, which is convenient since the series is being billed as “Dangerous Liaisons meets The Tudors.”
Here’s how Deadline summarizes the show,
It centers on Dracula, who arrives in London posing as American entrepreneur Allen Grayson, who maintains that he wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. In reality, he hopes to wreak revenge on the people who ruined his life centuries earlier, but he falls hopelessly in love with a woman who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife.
That “woman who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife,” is Mina Murray, de Gouw’s character. She’s described as “a striking medical student who is engaged to Jonathan Harker but upon meeting Grayson both are instantly mesmerized by the other’s uncanny resemblance to someone from their past.” Yup, sounds like Dracula to me, I look forward to many scenes of Dracula and Mina staring at one another, transfixed. I do like the tweaks they’ve made, though, like Dracula posing as proponent of modern science and Mina being a medical student.
This doesn’t sound half bad to me, what do you think? I do wonder if this will interfere with de Gouw appearing on Arrow again. Hopefully not, she’s one of the better parts of that show.