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SYFY WIRE The Last Voyage of the Demeter

David Dastmalchian teases creepy Dracula spinoff 'The Last Voyage of the Demeter'

Renfield's not the only Dracula spinoff coming our way soon.

By Matthew Jackson
David Dastmalchian

This year, we're getting not one, but two major spinoffs of Dracula, each of which takes a very different approach to the original source material. You've almost certainly heard about Renfield at this point, the horror-comedy about Dracula's assistant (Nicholas Hoult), in which Nicolas Cage himself will play the Count. But that's not the only game in town. The Last Voyage of the Demeter is also coming soon to bring some good old-fashioned scares to the screen.

Directed by Andre Øvredal (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark), Last Voyage is an adaptation of a single chapter of text in Bram Stoker's original novel. It's the story of the ship, The Demeter, which carried Dracula from his home in the Carpathian Mountains to Carfax Abbey in London, a story which is usually only hinted at in adaptations of the novel. The crew of the ship has no idea that they're harboring a vampire onboard, thinking that they've just picked a few big crates to take across the sea. Then crew members start dying, and it's clear that something very dangerous is stowed away on the ship.

Speaking to Collider about his recent appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp: QuantumaniaDemeter co-star David Dastmalchian teased the upcoming film, as well as what it was like to work with Øvredal on this lesser-known chapter in Dracula's history.

RELATED: Renfield producer teases "you've never seen this take on Dracula"

“Andre is a student of and child of, grown up on the genre," Dastmalchian said. "Horror is his backbone and he is a true monster kid. He has this deep love and affinity for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, as do I. His knowledge of the book and his passion for the characters is so beautiful, and he’s got this really intense and unique vision and a way of telling stories that is so outside of the box. So anyone who’s familiar with his works like TrollhunterScary Stories to Tell in the DarkThe Autopsy of Jane Doe, you go, 'Well, this guy never takes a little swing. He takes a big swing.' He took a huge swing with this film. I think it’s gonna scare the crap out of people, but it’s also gonna be one of those movie experiences that transports you to this other place.”

Of course, Dastmalchian -- who plays the Demeter's first mate in the film -- is also a true monster kid, a horror fan through and through who's had his own adventures in the genre as an actor and as a creator, and his affinity for the source material was clear in this interview. 

“And I’m excited selfishly because it’s a character I’ve never gotten to play and it’s in a story that is one of my favorite chapters of one of my favorite books of all time," he said. "And it’s a chapter that’s short and that has never been explored except for on one series, and maybe in a couple of graphic novels.”

Dastmalchian's remarks hit upon what's perhaps the most fascinating part of this particular adaptation of Dracula: The shadows cast over this particular chapter of the story. Stoker's novel simply doesn't tell us what happened on the Demeter in the ship's final days, at least not in any great detail, which leaves the cast and crew of Last Voyage with a creepy blank canvas on which to spin a dark yarn. We can't wait to see what they came up with.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter is in theaters Aug. 11. Renfield opens wide April 14.

If you're in the mood for some bloodsucking fun in the meantime, check out Vampire Academy streaming on Peacock, or Reginald the Vampire on SYFY!