NBC announced an order for 10 episodes of a new series based on Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. The program, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the Count, will offer a modern take on the story. This version of the vampire will arrive in London posing as an American (of course) and will promise to introduce modern science to Victorian Britain before his plans are thrown off track by his discovery of the reincarnation of his dead wife.
According to NBC entertainment president Bob Greenblatt, "The book is still really fresh. Hopefully this will be a cool new version of Dracula.”
Obviously, Greenblatt has never read Dracula. In Stoker's novel, Dracula does not pose as an American, is in fact the very antithesis of modern science (in the book he was once an occultist and alchemist), and has no reincarnated wife. As I discuss in my book Knowing Fear, Stoker's Dracula was a deep meditation on the nature of science, and I fear that this new version will reverse the message of the original and cast science as a villain against the apparently efficacious use of magic and reincarnated spirit powers to defeat the vampire.
Oh, and the wife thing? That's a shameless ripoff of Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 movie Bram Stoker's Dracula, which introduced the whole "reincarnated love interest" angle.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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