Way back in 2010, Guillermo del Toro became attached to mount a new take on vampire hunter Van Helsing, which would take a different stance on the character than in Stephen Sommers’ misfiring 2004 attempt. While his name floated in rumours at the time, Tom Cruise was supposed to be taking on the lead, but nothing solid materialised. Fast-forward to today, and del Toro is no longer involved, but Cruise is set to star in and produce the new version.
Which means that, assuming it all comes together, Cruise will be Abraham Van Helsing, hunting fanged fiends (and likely other creatures) and possibly hoping this kick-starts another lucrative franchise for him. We're feeling rather open-minded about this: there's no reason in principle that a Van Helsing film should fail, assuming they give it a plot this time.
It’s all been set up as part of a new deal hatched between Universal and writer-producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s K/O Paper Products production company. The pair, who have worked on Mission: Impossible III, the Transformers franchise and both Star Trek films among others, are being given the keys to both Van Helsing and The Mummy, which has already been announced with Prometheus writer Jon Spaihts on script duty.
“Alex and Roberto are extraordinarily talented writers and producers who know the value of a great story in building successful tent pole films,” Universal’s Adam Fogelson and Donna Langley said in a joint statement picked up by Deadline. “They have been a major part of some of Hollywood’s biggest movies and television shows in recent history, and we’re eager to have them build on that success at Universal.”
While – as usual – there will be some audience division as to Kurtzman and Orci’s writing (and it’s intriguing that Universal, the home of their one big failure, Cowboys & Aliens, is the studio making the deal), they have a healthy track record as producers for both movies and TV, and we’re pretty sure anything would be an improvement on Sommers’ Van Helsing. They do seem to love working: they were recently hired to write the latest draft of The Amazing Spider-Man sequel...