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Neil LaBute Stakes a Claim on Van Helsing at Syfy

The man behind the 2006 remake of The Wicker Man returns to genre storytelling with a new take on the Dracula myth.

By Bryan Enk

Neil LaBute: From "Not the bees!" to "Not the vampires!"

The man behind the 2006 remake of The Wicker Man (you remember -- the batsh** crazy flick with Nicolas Cage fighting a cult whilst wearing a bear suit) will be returning to genre storytelling with Van Helsing, a new take on the Dracula myth.

According to Deadline, LaBute will serve as writer and showrunner on the 13-episode series, which will commence with production in January 2016 via Nomadic Pictures (Fargo, Hell On Wheels).

Van Helsing centers on Vanessa Helsing, the daughter of famous vampire hunter and Dracula nemesis Abraham Van Helsing. She is resurrected five years in the future, where vampires have taken over the world and she possesses unique powers over them. Ultimately, 'Van' is humanity's last hope to lead an offensive to take back what has been lost.

The Wicker Man remake aside, this is quite the change of pace for Neil LaBute, who's best known for his scathing stage productions and films deconstructing (or, rather, completely demolishing) gender roles and relationships, such as In the Company of Men (1997), Your Friends & Neighbors (1998) and The Shape of Things (2003). It will be interesting to see if -- and how -- his familiar themes make their way into a sci-fi action adventure like Van Helsing, where characters get staked through the heart ... literally

Van Helsing will premiere on Syfy in Fall 2016.