Just three weeks out from filming, and with all the cast and crew in place, Blumhouse and Miramax’s Dracula-inspired movie Mina Harker has been staked and is dead.
The crew was informed of the project’s cancellation about 48 hours ago and the plug has been completely pulled.
Emmy winner Jasmine Cephas Jones was set to headline the series as Mina. Karyn Kusama (The Invitation, Destroyer, Yellowjackets) was to direct. Miramax exited the project abruptly over creative differences with the filmmaker.
Unsubstantiated rumors online point to a falling out over some of the messaging included in the production, with Miramax and other studios being fully aware that going woke and going broke are being proven to be commercial bedfellows, while filmmakers themselves are slower to catch on.
The story was to be set in contemporary Los Angeles with Mina Harker facing off against Dracula, who was to go by the name Vladimir in the movie. Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi penned the script based on Bram Stoker’s novel.
In the novel, the character of Mina begins the story as Miss Mina Murray, a young schoolmistress who is engaged to Jonathan Harker, and best friends with Lucy Westenra. She visits Lucy in Whitby at the time when her fiancee Jonathan Harker is abroad, helping a foreign Count Dracula with his property purchases in England.
After her fiancé Jonathan escapes from Count Dracula’s castle, Mina travels to Budapest and joins him there to care for him during his recovery. They marry, and return to England as husband and wife.
Back home, they learn that Lucy has died from a mysterious illness stemming from severe blood loss. These seem to have been mysteriously inflicted by an unknown, blood-drinking animal that has taken place in her own home.
In the novel, Mina is a driving force behind what then unfolds. It is because of Mina that a party of people who come together following Lucy’s death, including Jonathan, learn of the Count’s plans. She is the one who collects the journals, letters, and newspaper clippings that the book is ostensibly presented as.
She collates all of the information regarding the Count, places it in chronological order, and types out multiple copies, giving them to each of the other protagonists.
The party unites around Professor Abraham Van Helsing and uses this information to discover clues about Dracula’s plans, to track him down and eventually destroy him. As he learns of the forces arrayed against him, an enraged Dracula attempts to take his revenge by biting Mina and placing her under a hypnotic spell, dooming her to become a vampire should she die.
Handled correctly, it could be an intriguing story to be updated to present times.
In most recent memory, notable portrayals of Mina Harker include Peta Wilson in The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Winona Rider in Franci Ford Coppola’s extravagant adaption.
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