With the latest thing seeming to be to bring back a recognized name and/or franchise and recast the lead(s) as a female instead of a male, it looks like Van Helsing is about to get the same treatment at Syfy.
The new series will focus on “Vanessa Helsing, who is resurrected five years in the future and learns vampires have taken over the world,” and will have writer Neil LaBute as showrunner.
Wait, wasn’t this Buffy? Anyway, we digress…
Van Helsing was originally Professor Abraham van Helsing in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, and was Drac’s nemesis who hunted monsters and vampires.
He was famously played in the Hammer Horror movies by the great Peter Cushing, then in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 Dracula by Anthony Hopkins. Then Hugh Jackman played a Van Helsing – but not THE Van Helsing in the movie of the same title in 2004. And FTN favourite David Warner briefly played him in the TV series Penny Dreadful.
Now, however, things have changed: “In this new interpretation, the central character is now a female, Vanessa Helsing, the next in a lineage of warriors who must lead mankind against a world controlled by vampires. When Vanessa is resurrected five years in the future, she learns vampires have taken over the world and that she possesses unique power over them. She is essentially humanity’s last hope to lead an offensive to take back what has been lost.”
“I am extremely excited to be working with Syfy and Nomadic Pictures to create a unique, character-driven action series that will move the traditional vampire tropes into bold and unexpected new territories” said Neil LaBute. “This is a wonderful chance for us to forge great stories and unforgettable characters and throw them into a world where the stakes – both dramatic and personal – are tremendously high.”
Chad Oakes, co-chairman of Nomadic Pictures, added: “Van Helsing represents a new mythology in sci-fi by challenging traditional vampire rules. The series is unique in exploring a world completely dominated by vampires, while the human characters have to learn the importance of working together to ensure their survival. Mike and I are thrilled to team up once again with the talented Neil LaBute to deliver an amazing series.”
Production on the 13-episode first season will begin in January in Vancouver for a fall 2016 launch.