The 1972 blaxploitation and horror mash-up Blacula is getting a remake. MGM, Bron, and producers Deon and Roxanne Avent Taylor are teaming up to make this happen.
In the original, William Marshall starred as Blacula. Originally Prince Mamuwalde, in 1870 he is sent by the elders of the Nigerian Ibani African nation to seek the help of European noblemen in suppressing the slave trade. He encounters Count Dracula (Charles Macaulay) who laughs at this request and insults Mamuwalde.
He instead promised to enslave Mamuwalde’s wife, Luva (Vonetta McGee). Mamuwalde is bitten by Dracula, cursed with the name Blacula and transformed into a vampire before being sealed in a coffin. Luva is also imprisoned in the same crypt and left powerless to help until she finally starves to death.
In 1972, the coffin is purchased as part of an estate sale by two epically 1970’s stereotyped homosexual interior decorators, Bobby McCoy (Ted Harris) and Billy Schaffer (Rick Metzler), and shipped to Los Angeles.
Bobby and Billy open the coffin inside a Los Angeles warehouse only to become Blacula’s first victims.
Blacula then proceeds to cut a swathe through the city, taking victims ranging from a taxi driver to a nightclub photographer as he attempts to be reunited with his wife who he believes reincarnated in the form of one of the decorator’s friends, Tina.
As this is 2021 there will, of course, be modern politics inserted into the story. Blacula will still be an ancient African prince who is cursed by Dracula after he fails to agree to end the slave trade. He will still be entombed and awaken two centuries later. It will be set in a modern city post-Coronavirus pandemic. Blacula will awaken ready to avenge the death of his ancestors and of those responsible for robbing his people of their work, culture, and heritage as they appropriated it for profit.
Deon Taylor will direct the project, based on a script co-written with Micah Ranum. Roxanne Avent Taylor and Aaron L. Gilbert are producing.
The original was one of the top-grossing films of the year. It was the first film to receive an award for Best Horror Film at the Saturn Awards. Blacula was followed by the sequel Scream Blacula Scream in 1973 and inspired a wave of blaxploitation-themed horror films.