The last we heard of the new Luke Evans-starring Dracula (formerly known as Dracula: Year Zero) was Dominic Cooper's arrival in an unspecified role back in May. The cast has significantly bulked up this morning, however, with the news that Samantha Barks, Charlie Cox, Thor Kristjansson and Art Parkinson have just joined the reworking of / prequel to the horror classic.
And what a reworking it seems to be. Previous reports had established that Gary Shore's film will blend real history with mythology. Entirely consistent with that agenda, then, are the reports that Barks will be playing the folkloric Slavic witch Baba Yaga (the one with the house on chicken legs, who uses a mortar and pestle as a mode of transport. As you do). You'll find her nowhere in Bram Stoker, but perhaps you could argue that, as a ubiquitous eastern European bogey-woman, she's part of the same pantheon as the Count. How she specifically fits into the film's story remains to be seen.
The Empire Award-winning Barks was, of course, Eponine in this year's lavish Les Miserables movie. Kristjansson, meanwhile, is an Icelandic actor known for last year's Black's Game; Cox is a Boardwalk Empire regular as Owen Slater; and Parkinson plays Rickon Stark on Game Of Thrones. We don't know Cox's Dracula role yet, but Kristjansson is playing "Bright Eyes: an Eastern European taken as a slave as a young boy and now a vicious assassin in the Ottoman army". Parkinson is playing Son of Dracula, who we're assuming is not going to be the same character Lon Chaney Jr played in 1943.
Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless wrote the script, which sees our man Vlad trying to defend his family and country from a bloodthirsty sultan. It sounds as if part of his strategy is to court dark powers (maybe that's where Barks/Baba comes in) but he loses control and ends up sleeping in coffins, climbing sheer walls upside down and relocating to Whitby.
Shore hopes to get his cameras rolling imminently in Belfast, and Dracula is set for a release next summer.