Bram Stoker’s character Abraham Van Helsing has been presented onscreen in a number of different flavors (and with some varying first names) over the years. He’s been a genial academic, a boisterous obsessive, a badass monster hunter, and soon, a female badass monster hunter. The latest iteration of the character will be part of the Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe, where it looks like he’s going to be a mentally unstable, post-apocalyptic mercenary searching the wasteland for stores of aqua cola and guzzoline.
At least, that’s what we’re taking from HitFix’s interview with Eric Heisserer, who’s scripting Universal’s upcoming Van Helsing reboot with Jon Spaihts, who’s also writing Universal’s new Mummy movie. Heisserer reveals that their vision of the legendary vampire exterminator is cribbed a bit from George Miller’s Max Rockatansky. “Early on, our inspiration for his behavior and his mannerisms was all in Mad Max.” Heisserer also gives the impression that he and Spaihts have a free hand to adapt the story:
“I can say that the decision that a lot of us made was to go and just write the best movie we could in our own corner and make sure it’s good on its own … and didn’t necessarily need to link arm-in arm-with anybody else. And to be tonally different from the other films. One may be a little bit more comedic, action-adventure-y, one can be very much a traditional horror piece. That kind of thing. And then we’ll see what happens as the projects evolve and we all get a chance to convene and talk, and make sure the movies feel like they’re all in the same world.”
Heisserer does appear to know his way around a reboot—he‘s already helped to reimagine two famous horror characters, having worked on the 2010 version of A Nightmare On Elm Street and the unnecessary 2011 prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing.