So how do you make the story of a monster hunter more realistic? That’s the task writer/producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are starting to wrestle with as they begin their work at remaking the 2004 film Van Helsing. Kurtzman was talking with Crave Online and revealed that he and his partner are trying to think of a way to differentiate their version of the character that originally appeared in Bram Stroker’s original Dracula novel and the many different cinematic interpretations that have followed.
Well, I don’t want to give away too much, because we are actually at the very beginning of talking about what to do with it. But I do feel like the Van Helsing that Anthony Hopkins plays in [Bram Stoker’s] 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. I think that these kinds of movies have evolved a lot since then. 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.
Now while I know that the 2004 film does have its fans, I hated it. I thought the the entire thing was poorly written and directed and generally just a joyless, unwatchable mess. Having characters that seem more grounded in reality while they react to the more fantastic things going on around them would be a vast improvement. It has worked for the movies that Kurtzman name checked – The Dark Knight and the 2009 Star Trek reeboot – and since Kurtzman and Orci worked on that, so I think there is reason to believe that this remake should be a marked improvement on the original.