Paramount Studios has launched development of “Dracula,” a prequel to the classic Dracula story, and attached “It” director Andy Muschietti.
Paramount won an auction for the prequel, written by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker in the Bram Stoker Estate’s first authorized prequel.
Producers are Roy Lee and Barbara Muschietti, who teamed on “It.” The story is set in 1868, where a 21-year-old Bram Stoker meets with an evil that he traps in an ancient tower.
Stoker first published “Dracula” in 1897 when he was 50 years old and established many of the conventions of the horror genre. The novel starts with attorney Jonathan Harker visiting Count Dracula in the Carpathian Mountains and centers on Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England aboard a Russian ship so that he may find new blood. He’s opposed by a group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.
“It” is expected to be a major box office success for New Line, which opens the horror film on Sept. 8 with forecasts of a domestic launch above $60 million. It’s Muschietti’s second directing assignment following 2013’s “Mama.”
The auction was conducted by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency, Angela Cheng Caplan of Cheng Caplan Company Inc., and attorney Wayne Alexander. The news was first reported by Publishers Weekly.