Dracula Untold is not a fang-fest, says Luke Evans. Instead of focusing solely on pointy teeth and bloodsucking, the film that reboots the origins of the iconic vampire, according to its star, is as much about the Transylvanian leader Vlad as the monster he became.
Now available on home video, Dracula Untold merges facts of prince Vlad Tepes/Dracula -- the same one with a notorious habit of impaling his enemies -- with the fictional vampire creation from Bram Stoker’s 1897 Gothic novel. While Stoker alluded to Vlad being the same man as the count, primarily because he basically thought the name Dracula sounded cool, the Universal Pictures film crafts a backstory by connecting historic events with supernatural activities.
In the film, Vlad (Evans, Fast & Furious 6, The Hobbit) must defend his kingdom of Wallachia from the constantly invading Ottoman Empire. He has a reputation for the whole nasty impaling business but is loved by his people and is a God-fearing Christian father. But when he faces insurmountable forces led by Sultan Mehmed (Dominic Cooper, Agent Carter), he enters a bargain with the Master Vampire (Charles Dance, Game of Thrones): He can obtain the powers of a vampire, and return to mortal form, if he can resist drinking human blood for three days. The film borrows from history and allows Evans’ character to show off his new abilities by adding a vampiric twist to actual battles, such as Vlad’s famous Night Attack.
This convergence of fact and fiction is what recently brought me to Romania. I explored Vlad vs. Vlad by visiting locations mentioned in the film, and connected to the real 15th-century man, while also discussing Stoker’s monster. And over the last few days, I've been sharing the results of that quest.
I also had the opportunity to speak with Evans in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, about his role as Dracula. Beyond re-launching the famous character for modern audiences, Dracula Untold is also the beginning of Universal’s shared Monsters universe. In the following video, we discuss that as well as his thoughts on the real Vlad, when he first encountered Dracula (who has been adapted on screen more than any other character) -- and even how he adapted to his fangs and prevented the movie from becoming a fang-fest.
Don’t miss the first two parts of our video series Vlad vs. Vlad in Romania: