EXCLUSIVE: Derek Kolstad, the screenwriter behind the John Wick series, is collaborating with Amazon Studios to develop a live-action feature film based on the iconic Japanese action-horror manga Hellsing.
“Ever since my brother introduced me to the Hellsing manga and anime some years ago, I’ve been obsessed with adapting it,” Kolstad said. “And when Mike Callaghan and his team managed to secure the rights to then partner us up with Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Amazon, I mean -damn, dude- this is a dream.”
Written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano and published by Shōnen Gahōsha, Hellsing reimagines Dracula as Alucard, a special agent bound to The Hellsing Organization, under the leadership of Integra Hellsing, great-granddaughter of Abraham Van Hellsing, to aid them in their mission to protect England and the world from vampires, ghouls, and other supernatural threats. The manga also focuses on Hellsing’s newest recruit, a female ex-police officer named Seras Victoria.
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“I’ve always loved the vampire genre, especially when a creator is able to put their own unique spin on it, so when Derek introduced me to Alucard and the Hellsing Organization, I knew we had something special in that tradition,” Callaghan said. “Kouta Hirano’s gonzo reimagining of the Dracula-Van Helsing mythology is an exhilarating, quirky mashup of action and horror that’s unlike anything we’ve seen before. We are incredibly excited to partner with Brian and Fred at Automatik and that Amazon is on board to help us bring the wit and madness of ‘Hellsing’ to life on screen.”
The feature will be produced by Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Fred Berger of Automatik, Mike Callaghan and Reuben Liber of Ranger 7 Films, Jason Lust of Soluble Fish Productions, and Kolstad. Gemma Levinson is the executive on the project from Automatik. Executive Producers are Tetsu Fujimura of Filosophia, India Osborne, Pierre Buffin, and Jason Speer.
“Derek is an exceptional writer and we are so excited to partner with him on what he does very best – building rich mythology filled with iconic characters,” said Kavanaugh-Jones.
Playing a big part in helping launch the John Wick franchise, Kolstad most recently penned the third installment of the series, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum as well as the upcoming action thriller Nobody starring Bob Odenkirk. He also is a co-exec producer on the highly-anticipated Marvel series Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Kolstad is repped by APA, Circle of Confusion and Behr Abramson Levy. David Fox and Derek Kroeger represented Automatik on the deal. Gersh represented Ranger 7 Films and Soluble Fish Productions on the deal.
“I’m truly excited to work with this stellar team together with Amazon to realize a post-modern reinterpretation of the Dracula character that flips him on his head in an inventive and compelling way,” Lust said.
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