Van Helsing

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.



In the Company of Men, Your Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty, Death at a Funeral (the remake)…. This is not the resume of a man that wants to make a new Syfy series about a female Van Helsing, Vanessa, that wakes up in a future overrun by vampires and joins the family business, but this is what Neil LaBute is doing next. The genre-based cable channel is picking up LaBute’s next TV project, which is paradoxically a spin on the titular character’s nemesis from Bram Stoker‘s Dracula, but can the man behind the Wicker Man remake end up doing something awesome with the campy premise? (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…)


Universal Studios has an incredible catalog of iconic monsters, and that kids is called brand recognition, and in modern Hollywood, brand recognition has zork. It’s kapowza in the bank in other words.

Naturally, Universal wants to be in the business of using its intellectual property to make cash, and they hired Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Sleepy Hollow) to make it happen. And then nothing happened. They hired Len Wiseman (Underworld) to (re)make The Mummy, but that went nowhere, and the reason that maybe the case is because there are bigger plans for these movies afoot. What exactly? Think a giant cohesive movie universe a la Marvel. (more…)

I think most folks can agree that 2004’s Van Helsing was an unabashed cheese fest. Even with all it’s action, effects and star power of Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale the film was destined for the discount movie bin.

Its failure, of course, means its getting a reboot. Yes, another reboot! This rehash, however, will be its own film. The only thing thing it will share with Jackman and Beckinsale’s abortion of a movie is its name.

This version by Universal pictures will be scripted by two of the three minds behind the upcoming Star Trek into Darkness, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Former Katie Holmes hubby and action star Tom Cruise is poised to star in the action fantasy reboot.

The project is still early stages of development. It’s got a leading man and a master writing team, but where is Van Helsing’s director ?

With no director, all you have is two guys locked in a room writing and an actor pushing his Scientology beliefs on the stage crew – neither of which is a good thing. Thankfully, according to Twitch, Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders has reportedly been chosen to helm the project.

At this time, no official announcements have been made. If Sanders does agree, it’ll free up the Snow White sequel to some new direction.

In light of recent wrong doings with an openly known Twilight actress, he would be wise to accept the position; taking some heat off his shoulders.

I for one, hope he takes the project. He’s such a raw and visceral director. I think his aptitude for doom and gloom would match up very well for this vampire hunting romp.

Source: Coming Soon

Despite fan trepidation about their track record, the screenwriting duo of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are still pretty popular in the halls of the major studios. To wit, the recent announcement that Kurtzman and Orci were not only tackling a reboot of The Mummy franchise, but were going to oversee a reboot of 2004’s Van Helsing as well. It is on the subject of the latter that Kurtzman recently spoke to CraveOnline:

“Well, I don’t want to give away too much, because we are actually at the very beginning of talking about what to do with it. But I do feel like the Van Helsing that Anthony Hopkins plays in [Bram Stoker’s] Dracula is sort of the parody version of it, and the Van Helsing that Hugh Jackman played was obviously in a different place as well. I think that these kinds of movies have evolved a lot since then. You know, The Dark Knight was a major, major corner-turning moment in the way that genre and superhero stories could be told. Really grounded in reality. Really grounded in really cool things. That’s what I’d like to do without sacrificing the fantasy element. We aspired to do that as well on Trek, you know, keep it “real.” That’s such a different franchise than Batman, but that’s really what we wanted to do. And we’d love to do that with Van Helsing.”

I’m not sure how you keep a fantasy movie about vampires, monsters and wolfmen “real,” but I’d like to see them give it a try. Lord knows that the first Val Helsing was a steaming pile that could have easily been improved if someone had read the script in advanced and realized that it was an incoherent mess with zero engaging characters but was still so self-assured of its own, non-existent cleverness. Good luck with that Kurtzman!

Source: Coming Soon

Hey, look, it’s that thing you never asked for! Another attempt at a Van Helsing flick with Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Tom Cruise signed as producers with Cruise also attached to star. Yay. This news came with the announcement from Universal that Kurtzman and Orci would also be given the chance to reboot The Mummy franchise.

Actually, Cruise’s name has been linked with a Van Helsing film for some time. Back in 2010 he was attached to the project when Guillermo del Toro was considering it, and that’s how Cruise became involved in del Toro’s almost At the Moutains of Madness movie.

Does a Van Helsing movie deserve another shot? The 2004 attempt starring Hugh Jackman was pretty terrible, so much so I figured that was it, but this is Hollywood where original ideas are a rare commodity. What about Cruise as the star, does that inspire you with more confidence?

Here’s the press release:

Universal Pictures today announced the studio has signed a two-year first-look production deal with one of the leading writing/producing teams in the entertainment industry, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and their K/O Paper Products banner. The duo will kick off their new relationship with Universal by reimagining titles from the studio’s library including Van Helsing and The Mummy. The announcement was made by Universal Pictures Chairman, Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman, Donna Langley.

Kurtzman and Orci have collaborated with some of the industry’s top creative minds including J.J. Abrams, with whom they wrote the third installment of Mission: Impossible, which grossed nearly $400 million at the worldwide box office. In 2007, they wrote Transformers and went on to write Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in 2009. Together, those films grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide. More recently, the pair wrote and executive produced 2009’s Star Trek, which grossed more than $385 million worldwide. Accompanying their impressive film resume, Kurtzman and Orci have found tremendous success in television, having created the series Fringe, writing/producing Alias and in 2010, producing the reboot of Hawaii Five-O. They also currently executive produce the highest rated show on Hasbro’s The Hub, Transformers Prime.

“Alex and Roberto are extraordinarily talented writers and producers who know the value of a great story in building successful tentpole films,” Fogelson and Langley said in a joint statement. “They have been a major part of some of Hollywood’s biggest movies and television shows in recent history, and we’re eager to have them build on that success at Universal.”

“We’re thrilled to call Universal Pictures our home,” said Kurtzman and Orci. “From the moment we sat down with Adam, Donna, Peter, Jeff and the entire Uni team, there was an instant flow of inspired ideas. They really understand the importance of building a strong creative team and giving our shared projects their full support. We’re proud to start making movies that will live as part of Universal’s enduring legacy.”

Kurtzman and Orci’s K/O Paper Products will develop and produce a modern reimagining of Universal library titles including The Mummy, alongside producer Sean Daniel and writer Jon Spaihts. The pair will also develop and produce Universal’s reimagined Van Helsing, with Tom Cruise attached to star in and produce the film.

Kurtzman and Orci’s upcoming projects include writing Sony’s next installment of The Amazing Spider-Man; producing Now You See Me, for Lionsgate Summit, set for release in March 2013; and producing Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, also for Lionsgate Summit. Kurtzman and Orci wrote and produced People Like Us, which marks Kurtzman’s directorial debut and is scheduled to be released in June 2012, and wrote and produced the second installment of Star Trek, set for release in 2013. The pair most recently rewrote All You Need Is Kill for Warner Bros., with Tom Cruise attached to star, Doug Liman to direct and Erwin Stoff to produce.

Kurtzman, Orci and the rest of their K/O Paper Products team, including President Bobby Cohen, will be housed on the Universal lot. Former assistants Ben Kim and Kim Cavyan will come aboard as creative executives. Kurtzman and Orci are represented by CAA and attorneys Michael Gendler and Kevin Kelly of Gendler & Kelly, APC.

Source: /Film