EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is closing a deal to acquire Harker, a spec script by Lee Shipman & Brian McGreevy for a re-imagining of Bram Stoker’s Dracula that will be directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The filmmaker’s latest is the Liam Neeson-starrer Unknown, which will be released February 18 by Warner Bros. Harker will be produced by Appian Way partners Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran, in a coproduction with Mad Hatter Entertainment. That label’s Michael Connolly will also be involved as a producer.
I’m told that the script focuses on Jonathan Harker as the Scotland Yard detective who is tracking Dracula, and the script sets up the sleuth as a potential new franchise character. DiCaprio isn’t planning to act in the film. Appian Way has a first look deal at Warner Bros, and the studio had the inside track even though other studios looked at the project over the weekend. The deal contains progress to production language and so the picture is expected to move quickly. Appian Way produced Collet-Serra’s last directorial outing, the fright film Orphan.
The writers are hot stuff. McGreevy wrote the supernatural mystery thriller novel Hemlock Grove, a book which just told to Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The novel teams an aristocratic vampire, a werewolf and Frankenstein’s monster, and places them in a Pennsylvania high school. As a team, the writers are scripting their pitch Pendragon for New Regency, with Sylvain White attached to direct. Rick Yorn sold the Dracula package and Paradigm reps the writers. Appian’s Michael Ireland brought in the project.