The ‘Nomadland’ filmmaker recently became the first Asian woman to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director.


One day after becoming the first Asian woman to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director, Nomadland helmer Chloe Zhao has signed on to write and direct a new Dracula movie for Universal Pictures that features a tonal twist on the classic monster.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news, this new iteration of Dracula will be an original, futuristic sci-fi Western. Zhao will also produce the movie via her Highwayman banner.

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Universal’s original Dracula movie, which starred Bela Lugosi as the famed vampire, and was directed by Tod Browning. That timeless classic is a far cry from the studio’s last Dracula outing, 2014’s Dracula Untold, which boasts a measly 25 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though the film did gross a surprising $217 million worldwide despite its obvious lack of quality.

Per THR, Zhao’s Dracula is expected to find the character either living on or feasting on the fringes of society — an area Zhao seems most comfortable working, as her acclaimed drama Nomadland finds Frances McDormand living in a van among a nomad community. Basically, don’t expect the typical vampire iconography in this film. Who knows, maybe Dracula will be living in a van with the windows blacked out…

Image via Searchlight Pictures

“I’ve always been fascinated by vampires and the concept of the Other they embody. I’m very excited to work with Donna [Langley], Peter [Cramer] and the team at Universal to reimagine such a beloved character,” Zhao told THR.

“Chloé’s singular lens shines a light on stories of the overlooked and misunderstood. We are thrilled to be working with her as she reimagines one of the most iconic outsider characters ever created,” added Universal president Peter Cramer.

Nomadland earned four Golden Globe nominations on Wednesday, including Best Picture (drama), Best Director and Best Screenplay for Zhao. It also won the top prize at both the Venice Film Festival (the Golden Lion) and the Toronto International Film Festival (the People’s Choice Award) — a first, mind you — and the film was named Best Picture by the National Society of Film Critics and the Gotham Awards.

Zhao has already wrapped her next movie –Marvel’s star-studded Eternals, which is scheduled to hit theaters on Nov. 5, 2021. It’s the director’s first big-budget project, and one that should prepare her for the pressure that comes with directing a Dracula movie. She’s the latest to join Universal’s roster of directors working on the studio’s next generation of monster movies, a list that also includes James Wan, Paul Feig, Dexter Fletcher and Elizabeth Banks, as well as Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Meanwhile, Karyn Kusama (The Invitation) is also working on a Dracula movie for Blumhouse, so I suppose the race is on!

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