Guillermo del Toro's Van Helsing

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Exclusive: Guillermo del Toro Tackles Van Helsing

No. It's Not a Remake / Dustin Rowles

Trade News | June 10, 2010 | Comments (16)

The Hollywood Cog delivered news this morning that sounded so familiar and almost so obvious that I’d assumed it’d already been reported elsewhere. But my Internet sleuthing has found it nowhere, so I will assume that this is a Pajiba exclusive and a wicked case of trade news Déjà vu. If someone calls us on it, however, I stand corrected in advance.

The bad news is this: Universal Pictures is developing another Van Helsing movie. However, it’s not a remake. It’s simply based upon the same fictional vampire hunter character from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a great character who was, by all accounts, given an unfair shake in Stephen Sommers’ awful 2004 Van Helsing movie (which now sits at number 13 on our list of worst blockbusters of all time).

Here’s the good news: The movie, which is being developed at del Toro productions, will be based on a forthcoming treatment written by Guillermo del Toro himself, which is being described as an “action horror story.”

If anyone can do Van Helsing justice, it’s del Toro, who already has the bona fides in his vampire novel The Strain, which has a Van Helsing figure in it (not to mention the fact that he directed Blade II). I honestly don’t know del Toro’s involvement in the project beyond producing the movie and writing the treatment (and he’s now seeking a writer to expand that treatment), but with the Hobbit off his plate, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he might sit in the director’s chair. That seems unlikely given the number of projects he already has in development, however, most of those projects involve him in a screenwriting or production capacity. In either respect, since Van Helsing is still in the treatment stage, it’s further on down the line so no decision will have to be made anytime soon.
Yeah, sure why not. Maybe this time it will bear more resemblance to the Bram Stoker character other than same surname and arch villain.

But del Toro should just start doing these projects and not coming with news ones every other month...
 
I thought Memo was going to do Frankenstein next?

I wonder it he'd bring Jackman back. :hehe:
 
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My prayers have been answered, my friends! And who better to reboot this than Guillermo del Toro (who I've met once, btw; no joke:woot:)? Just as long as he brings Hugh Jackman back, I'm in!
 
NO!

This has nothing do with the horrible Stephen Sommers' Gabriel Van Helsing mess.

Jesus, man. I was just kidding about that part!:oldrazz: Either way, I hope GDT directs this. I'm very interested in what he comes up with!
 
One can only hope it resembles this.

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Never knew Van Helsing film was that hated, it was disappointing, but never knew it had this passionaite hate lol. :p Still awesome news!
 
I think he should direct the Monster Squad remake instead.
 
Well because of the recent Hellsing movie I immediately though all the monsters would be in this one. I wonder if it will just be a vampire. Also I hope this is some good horror and not trying to build a franchise.
 
This is awesome news.

However, please do Hellboy III!!!
 
A Guillermo-Del-Toro-inspired vampire?

I'm sold.
 
I hope he calls it something other than Van Helsing. Stephen Sommers ruined that title forever and any movie that uses it will forever be associated with that pathetically derivative turd of a movie.

What amazes me so much about the Sommers Van Helsing is that the movie already had THREE stories to base itself upon: Van Helsing, Dracula, Frankstein's Monster and the Wolf Man. But Summers and his team of hacks couldn't come up with a workable script with that much material. No, they had to go and rip off Solomon Kane, Alan Moore's Jekyll & Hyde concept and f**king GREMLINS.

I remember sitting through that movie and thinking that Sommers had hit a new low. I thought that no other movie in the cinematic history could misfire on so many levels.

Then I saw G.I. Joe and was proven wrong.
 
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I hold bitter resentment for people like Sommers. There are thousands of actors, writers, and directors out there with great talent, but never get noticed. Whereas hacks with no discernible talent are thrown millions of dollars to produce acts of cinematic rape.
 
I hope he calls it something other than Van Helsing. Stephen Sommers ruined that title forever and any movie that uses it will forever be associated with that pathetically derivative turd of a movie.

What amazes me so much about the Sommers Van Helsing is that the movie already had THREE stories to base itself upon: Van Helsing, Dracula, Frankstein's Monster and the Wolf Man. But Summers and his team of hacks couldn't come up with a workable script with that much material. No, they had to go and rip off Solomon Kane, Alan Moore's Jekyll & Hyde concept and f**king GREMLINS.

I remember sitting through that movie and thinking that Sommers had hit a new low. I thought that no other movie in the cinematic history could misfire on so many levels.

Heck, Hammer got decent mileage out of Van Helsing in Brides of Dracula and, arguably, Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. And even Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter is a pretty direct variation. You really have to be a hack not to at least get something decent out of the concept.
 
It boggles the mind, doesn't it?

I generally would relegate idiots like Sommers to the "Brett Ratner" category, meaning that he's probably one of those Hollywood Yes Men that will willingly sacrifice their credibility to please the studios.

And yet...

I don't know that I can truly say that about Sommers because he's a special case. Almost all of his films are so laughably awful and painful to watch that I can't imagine that ANYONE ELSE IN THIS WORLD would want to see a film turn out like that. Other than the first Mummy (and maybe parts of the second one) the guy just turns out cinematic dysentery. It's hard to believe that even the sleaziest, stupidest producer in Hollywood would envision these projects the way that Sommers turns them out.
 
The only positive thing I have to say about Sommers is "At least he isn't as bad as those guys who make the 'spoof' movies."

I know their names, but I refuse to commit them to writing.
 
I remember sitting through that movie and thinking that Sommers had hit a new low. I thought that no other movie in the cinematic history could misfire on so many levels.

Then I saw G.I. Joe and was proven wrong.

This had me laughing hahah .....

BTW, how did he rip off Solomon Kane?

This is great news though. I don't hate the first one, but it was definitely NOT the movie it could've been.
 
BTW, how did he rip off Solomon Kane?

The overall character design was damn near a direct copy. The only real difference is that Kane used conventional weapons (swords, muskets) and not gadgets. Plus, Kane also hunted down monsters, although there are plenty of characters who do that, so I wouldn't really cite that as proof of Sommers' derivative tendancies. But stylistically, it's pretty much a copy.

The tragic irony is that, because Sommers ripped off the look of Solomon Kane and made a crap movie, distributors are afraid to pick up the ACTUAL Solomon Kane movie in the U.S., because they think it will tank like Van Helsing did. (I think VH did make good money the first two weeks and probably made its budget back but it dropped quickly and was critically panned).
 
I was hoping Guillermo del Toro would get that Dr. Strange film he's been wanting to do from Marvel. Saw a trailer for Disney's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" with Nic Cage and that IS Dr. Strange. Damn.

I bet Marvel/Disney is going to shelf the character now.
 
If del Toro can make a film that's totally macabre and Vampire Hunter D-like, then I'm all for it.

BTW, since del Toro is free, it does makes me wonder about his slate and the possibility of a superhero film for him in the future.
 
Neil Gaiman said he'd write a Doctor Strange script if Del Toro directed it. I'd love to see that.

But this news is cool, i guess. But damn it, Del Toro! AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS! HOP TO IT!!
 
The overall character design was damn near a direct copy. The only real difference is that Kane used conventional weapons (swords, muskets) and not gadgets. Plus, Kane also hunted down monsters, although there are plenty of characters who do that, so I wouldn't really cite that as proof of Sommers' derivative tendancies. But stylistically, it's pretty much a copy.

The tragic irony is that, because Sommers ripped off the look of Solomon Kane and made a crap movie, distributors are afraid to pick up the ACTUAL Solomon Kane movie in the U.S., because they think it will tank like Van Helsing did. (I think VH did make good money the first two weeks and probably made its budget back but it dropped quickly and was critically panned).

You're absolutely right in your amazement of how utterly lame Van Helsing is. I had already suffered the Mummy movies and knew it was going to be bad, but the concept itself is so appealing, plus Jackman and Beckinsale, that I was determined to enjoy it even as a weak action movie.

You can't even enjoy it on the level as the action itself is awful and seems to consist of CGI shots of people swinging on ropes, jumping great distances, etc. Awful scenes of people turning into CGI monsters and back. And so on for two hours.

Van Helsing does take a lot from Soloman Kane, but equal amounts from Vampire Hunter D.


VampireHunterD_0001.jpg


Not really fair to call it a rip-off though, as that is the way fictional characters are born. If you were to call Steven Sommer's Van Helsing a rip-off of Soloman Kane and Vampire Hunter D, you'd have to call Flash Gordon a rip-off of Buck Rogers, Indiana Jones a rip-off of Alan Quatermain and Harry Steele from The Secret of the Incas.

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Meh. Where's that Slaughterhouse Five movie he said he was gonna make?
 
I really hope he does Hellboy III next, dying to see that.
 

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