A Failure Of A Dracula Movie Is Trending On Netflix
Dracula Untold is currently in the top ten most-watched movies on Netflix.
2014’s Dracula Untold was supposed to kick-start Universal Pictures’ Dark Universe, once the studio decided that was going to be a thing and retroactively added a final scene. The film ended up being a non-starter, only managing to rack up $217 million worldwide and receiving mixed reviews from critics. Despite Dracula Untold not hitting the mark, the film is doing quite well on streaming. According to Flix Patrol, Universal’s Dracula Untold is on the Top 10 Netflix charts.
This isn’t too surprising, especially considering that it’s the Halloween season and many people are in the mood to watch any horror related. One has to wonder if the renewed interest in Dracula Untold may give the studio enough motivation to try their hand again at creating a Monster Cinematic Universe.
Dracula Untold stars Luke Evans as the titular supernatural entity. The story centers on the character’s origin and how he came to be the most feared monster in all of the land. Development on the new Dracula project began in 2007 with Gods of Egypt and The Crow’s Alex Proyas hired to direct.
Universal initially was developing a project called Dracula: Year Zero, which would’ve starred Sam Worthington. However, the studio ended its deal with Proyas and Worthington due to budget issues. Then on February 10, 2012, Deadline reported that Irish director Gary Shore was in talks to take over as director. Shore previously wrote and directed two short films before stepping in to helm this massive studio project.
After Sam Worthington departed from the role of Vlad the Impaler-the man who would later become Dracula-the studio hired Luke Evans as his replacement. Prior to working on Dracula Untold, Evans appeared in Universal’s Fast and Furious franchise and was in The Hobbit films for Warner Bros. Evans was soon joined by Dominic Cooper, Samantha Barks, and others.
One of the interesting aspects of Dracula Untold was that the studio tried including it in their planned Monster Cinematic Universe. The studio attempted to reboot its classic monster movies with 2017’s The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise. However, the film’s poor box office and reception led to what was known then as the Dark Universe being completely scrapped.
Universal planned on creating its own cinematic universe after seeing Disney’s success with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On October 15, 2014, the studio announced that Dracula Untold was included in the Dark Universe. They also hinted that Charles Dance’s character from the film would appear in many other projects.
Suffice it to say that Universal’s plan to replicate the success of the MCU backfired after the dismal box office returns of The Mummy and Dracula Untold. Producer Alissa Phillips expressed her hope that Evan’s character might have a brief cameo in a second Mummy film. During an interview with IGN, director Gary Shore mentioned that the choice to use Dracula Untold as a launching pad for an entire Monster Cinematic Universe was “optional.”
The Hollywood Reporter later revealed that the ending scenes of Dracula Untold could be used in Universal’s monsterverse. However, the film’s poor box office convinced the studio to downplay the connections to other monsterverse characters and decided to use The Mummy as their jumping-off point. It wasn’t long before the studio and audiences forgot that Dracula Untold had even happened.
Emmy Award-winning composer Ramin Djawadi produced the score for Dracula Untold. The composer previously worked on HBO’s Game of Thrones, Prison Break, Pacific Rim, and many other projects. Djawadi gave up the opportunity to score the science fiction Tom Cruise film Edge of Tomorrow so that he could work on Dracula Untold. The first trailer for the film featured music artist Lorde’s cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”
Following the release of Dracula Untold, Box Office Mojo speculated that the film’s domestic and foreign box office earnings were “likely enough on the edge of earning enough to start a modest franchise.” Evans stated in 2016 that he had conversations with the studio about his character’s future in the Dark Universe. Producer Alissa Phillips even said during the film’s premiere in the U.K. that discussions were happening at the studio about a potential Dracula sequel.
Although it appears a sequel to Dracula Untold is becoming less and less likely, that doesn’t mean Dracula will remain on the shelves. Audiences can look forward to the Nicolas Cage Dracula movie Renfield, which is slated to hit theaters on April 14, 2023.