Dracula Untold is a movie that will show a historical remaking on the origins of vampires. Though Bram Stoker wrote Dracula in 1897, his character was likely based on a historical man from the fifteenth century, the Prince of Wallachia, Vlad Tepes the Impaler. The new movie is set in the 1400’s and tells the story a young price that sacrifices everything for his family by mixing with dark powers to become the first of the vampires.
Luke Evans is playing Vlad Tepes III, best know for his recent roles in Fast & Furious 6 and The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. The historical figure, Vlad Tepes III, was presumably born in 1431 in a mountainous region of Transylvania, Romania. During the time period Muslims from Asia were trying to invade the Christian territories of Europe, and Romania was the buffer zone between. Vlad III was the son of Vlad II, who gained the name Dracul, meaning dragon, after his induction in a Christian military organization supported by the Holy Roman Emperor, called the Order of the Dragon. Vlad III was therefore called Dracula, or little dragon.
Dracula Untold is being directed by Gary Shore who is best known for his commercial work for companies like Adidas, Nokia and Vogue. This is his debut feature length film. Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless wrote the film. It is also their first feature length film, giving little experience to the set from a movie-making standpoint.
The trailer for Dracula Untold, which tells the historical origins of vampires, begins with a young boy saying, “Sometimes the world doesn’t need another hero. Sometimes what it needs is a monster.” The young boy is presumably the son of Dracula speaking of his father’s previous fate after the events of the film. The trailer continues with a series of sword fighting scenes where Vlad shows off his skills by defeating numerous enemies, but he does not feel confident is his abilities to protect his family forever. He seeks an ancient evil that can give him the power to defeat his enemies at any cost. Dracula climbs a mountain and enters the stronghold of the evil force, played by Charles Dance, best known as Tywin Lannister from HBO’s Game of Thrones. Dance gives Dracula a cup of his own blood and turns him into a vampire.
Dominic Copper, from The Devil’s Double, is cast as Sultan Mehmed of the Ottoman Empire who is looking to take over the lands of Dracula. After Dracula officially turns into a vampire he has some amazing supernatural powers such as flying, the ability to disappear and being able to turn into a horde of bats. At the end of the trailer Dracula makes the horde of bats congregate together into a giant fist and literally smashes the approaching Ottoman army, led by Mehmed with the bat fist. The entire trailer of Dracula Untold is set to the music of Lorde’s Everybody Wants to Rule the World, which is an apt soundtrack for the power struggle of the film.
The trailer hints that Dracula will suffer with the moral struggles of living with such great power, and how it is not simply good versus evil anymore, but a much grayer distinction. Even though Dracula is traditionally cast on the side of evil, in this film he is the hero, who has sacrificed everything for his family, played by Sarah Gadon and Art Parkinson. Not only does Dracula Untold tell the historical origins to the vampire myth, but it does so in a movie packed with action, excitement and thrills that will leave the viewer on the edge of their seat.
By B. Taylor Rash