As first reported by Badass Digest and confirmed by Deadline, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company and Warner Bros. are preparing Harker, a “re-imagining” of Bram Stoker’s Dracula—that is, a film that will uproot Stoker’s Jonathan Harker character and transplant him to Scotland Yard, where he acts as a detective tracking the legendary vampire. In fact, Dracula seems to be something of a tangential player in his own story here, as Harker is really about establishing a new supernatural sleuth franchise, in the modish method of the many myth-based crime procedurals headed to television this fall.
Co-writer Brian McGreevy is certainly no stranger to this kind of “re-imagining,” having published the novel Hemlock Grove, which takes “an aristocratic vampire, a werewolf and Frankenstein's monster, and places them in a Pennsylvania high school.” (Unsurprisingly, that’s already been optioned for a film as well.) This Harker project, by the way, is completely unrelated to the Stoker estate-endorsed Harker graphic novel that was optioned over the summer—and in the race to see which Harker film survives, we’d put our money on the one that’s probably being pitched as “Supernatural Sherlock Holmes” with Leonardo DiCaprio’s name on it.
So far House Of Wax and Orphan director Jaume Collett-Serra is attached but there have been no rumors about who might star—though it’s definitely not DiCaprio. Whoever takes the role of Harker, of course, will have to contend with a legacy of Harker portrayers that includes Steven Weber and Keanu Reeves. However, neither of them had the benefit of a cool, one-name-only cop show premise that begs for a Mike Post theme song. Harker! [guitar squeal]