New 'Van Helsing' film will be "really grounded in reality", promises producer

Producer says the 'Van Helsing' film will take a different approach to the 2004 Hugh Jackman flop

Producer Alex Kurtzman has promised that the new Van Helsing film will be "really grounded in reality".

Last month Universal Pictures announced that Kurtzman and fellow producer Robert Orci are developing a "reimagined" version of the Van Helsing story – with Tom Cruise attached to star.

The character of Professor Abraham Van Helsing appears in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula as the nemesis of the titular vampire. Laurence Olivier and Anthony Hopkins are among actors to have depicted him on screen, while Hugh Jackman starred in 2004's poorly-received Van Helsing film.

Speaking to Crave Online, Kurtzman promised that the new movie will offer a very different portrayal of the character. He explained: "Well, I don't want to give away too much, because we are actually at the very beginning of talking about what to do. But I do feel like the Van Helsing that Anthony Hopkins plays in Dracula is sort of the parody version of it, and the Van Helsing that Hugh Jackman played was obviously in a different place as well."

He proceeded to explain that the new Van Helsing film will take a more realistic approach inspired by Batman sequel The Dark Knight and the 2009 Star Trek reboot, whose screenplay was written by Kurtzman and Orci.

He said: "You know, The Dark Knight was a major, major corner-turning moment in the way that genre and superhero stories could be told. Really grounded in reality. Really grounded in really cool things. That's what I'd like to do without sacrificing the fantasy element. We aspired to do that as well on Trek, you know, keep it 'real'. That's such a different franchise than Batman, but that's really what we wanted to do. And we'd love to do that with Van Helsing."

Kurtzman's directorial debut – an original drama called People Like Us starring Chris Pine and Olivia Wilde – opens in the US on Friday (June 29).

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