Authorized Dracula prequel could be headed to big screen with It director

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Sep 3, 2019, 7:44 AM EDT (Updated)

The first official prequel to Bram Stoker's landmark novel Dracula may soon become a motion picture.

Titled Dracul, the novel's screen rights have just gone to Paramount Pictures, according to Deadline. Already in the mix as a possible director is Andy Muschietti, who is about to become a major name in the horror genre when It -- which he also directed -- comes out this weekend.

The book itself just sold to Putnam after it was bid on by five different publishing houses. Written by Dacre Stoker -- the great-grand nephew of Bram Stoker -- and J.D. Barker, the novel's main character is the Dracula author himself (pictured above) at the age of 21. He apparently meets an "ungodly evil" that he traps in a tower, all while writing the events down, and no doubt paving the way for the actual novel that the real-life Bram wrote.

Interestingly, Dacre Stoker co-wrote (with Ian Holt) a previous Dracula novel, Dracula: The Un-dead, in an effort to bring the copyright of the famous character back to the Stoker family after it had fallen into the public domain.

Dacre, a former track and field coach who led the Canadian men's pentathlon team at the 1988 Summer Olympics, had never written a novel before. Reviews were mixed for the book, with several critics pointing out that it contradicted the original novel in a number of instances. Hopefully, he'll fare better with Dracul, which does not have a publication date yet.

Of course, it was just three years ago that the movie Dracula Untold was released, an origin story that sort of mashed up the fictional Dracula with his real-life inspiration, Vlad Tepes, aka Vlad the Impaler. The film was a modest success at the box office ($215 million worldwide) but a miss with critics, and was not considered part of the Universal Pictures "Dark Universe" monster franchise that got off to a disastrous start this past summer with The Mummy.

What do you think: is the world yearning for a Dracula prequel, either in book or movie form?

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