May 2: Jan De Bont bites into DRACULA sequel Jan De Bonts Blue Tulip Productions has teamed with Atchity Entertainment on a new feature which represents the first officially sanctioned sequel to Bram Stokers DRACULA. Tentatively titled THE UN-DEAD, after the subtitle of Stokers original novel, the script was written by Ian Holt and is set 25 years after the books events. All the surviving protagonistsincluding Jonathan and Mina Harker and Professor Van Helsingappear, along with Inspector Cotford, a character cut from the original manuscript, facing the bloodsucking Count once again. The Stoker family has officially recognized Holts screenplaythe first adaptation to receive such approval since the original 1931 Bela Lugosi-starring film. De Bont and co. are currently seeking a director for the project. Were going after someone who knows how to do big-budget, adult Gothic horror with top A-list actors like SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, says De Bont, whose own next directorial venture is the giant-shark epic MEG for Atchity and New Line. Were not making a B-movie teen slasher film here. This is the DRACULA [sequel] the true fans have been waiting for. Holt, who also wrote York Entertainments DR. CHOPPER, began the project by acquiring the rights to the best-selling book IN SEARCH OF DRACULA and traveled to Transylvania and spending a night at Bran Castle (pictured), where the real Dracula, Vlad Tepes, spent time. Me and a friend huddled in the room where Draculas wife jumped out the window to her death, he says. The sky was pitch blackthere were no starsand it was quiet, except for low moaning sounds every time the wind whipped through the crumbling walls of the castle. Needless to say, we didnt get much sleep! Holt also visited the dark princes palace in Romania, and wound up being knighted by The Transylvanian Society of Dracula into the Order of the Dragon. In addition, he was allowed by a Stoker family representative to read Stokers original handwritten manuscript (where he discovered Cotfords existence), currently stored under glass at Philadelphias Rosenbach Museum. I had to put on white gloves to not get any oil from my fingertips on the pages, Holt says. A guard watched over me the whole time. I got to see Stokers handwritten notes in the margins. It was such an honor to be holding the second most popular book of all time behind the Bible. It brought tears to my eyes and brought me full circle with the story.