Martin is thriller’s Vlad boy

Chappelle to direct 'Passions'

Rudolf Martin (“High Art”) will portray Vlad the Impaler in “Passions of Dracula: A True Story,” a dramatic thriller about the man who inspired the Count Dracula legend.

Joe Chappelle (“Takedown”) will direct from a script by Tom Baum. Kushner-Locke has acquired worldwide rights to the project, which is slated to begin shooting April 3 in Bucharest.

Roger Daltrey will star as King Janos of Hungary, the man who inadvertently gave rise to Vlad’s reign. Rounding out the cast are Peter Weller (“Naked Lunch”) and Jane March (“The Lover”).

Born the son of Transylvanian governor Vlad Dracul, Vlad “the Impaler” Dracula saw his father gain and lose the throne of the Hungarian territory Walachia. Vlad Dracula eventually ruled the territory himself, but during his reign from 1453-62 he was reputedly responsible for killing 40,000-100,000 people and earned his epithet from his preferred method of dispatching his victims.

Avram “Butch” Kaplan will produce through Pueblo Prods. The location shoot will also utilize the castle from which Vlad Dracula oversaw his reign of terror.

Kaplan was executive producer of “The Patriot,” starring Steven Seagal, and co-producer of “She’s So Lovely,” starring John Travolta and Sean Penn.

Baum’s credits include “Carny” and “The Manhattan Project.” He most recently wrote the teleplay for “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

Martin, who appears in the upcoming “Bedazzled,” is repped by Amanda Glazer at Paul Kohner Inc. and Mary Erickson and Bill Treusch of Bill Treusch & Associates. Daltrey is repped by Darryl Marshak and Harry Gold of Gold/Marshak/Liedtke & Associates.

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