& Empire Magazine (@empiremagazine) March 11, 2020
Romania has become famous for many different things through the years, but it may never ultimately shake off its links to the world’s favorite vampire.
First introduced in Bram Stoker’s classic 1897 novel, Count Dracula has been a source of fascination to a huge number of people across the globe, transcending the horror genre to become a fully-fledged icon of popular culture in his own right.
Now, the undead aristocrat from Transylvania looks set for a return to the big screen, with fresh details about a new adaptation of the story emerging in recent weeks.
A “faithful” take
Earlier this year it was revealed that Blumhouse was working on a Dracula movie, with Karyn Kusama signing up to direct.
In June, sites reported on comments Kusama made to The Kingcast podcast, in which she outlined how her aim was to make a “fairly faithful” adaptation of Stoker’s original novel. She added that the titular character may not prove to be the “romantic hero” seen in other versions of the story, while it was also hinted that the structure of the novel could be a significant reference point.
Kusama explained how the book has different points of view and, while many other versions have given Dracula’s viewpoint, hers is not one included in the original book.
There is no denying that tackling a new project related to Dracula is a significant step, particularly considering the huge influence the character has had across pop culture through the years. As Wired detailed in its history of vampire fiction back in 2012, Dracula was not actually the first vampire-related story to be published. However, it is hard to argue against the fact that it has had the greatest impact.
In fact, Dracula might well be a fundamental reason why there remains a huge level of interest in vampires and the mythology which surrounds them. The monsters continue to have a big influence on the entertainment world for example, with big-screen takes on vampire-themed Marvel properties like Morbius and Blade currently being in the pipeline. The vampiric influence can also be seen in casino gaming, with Betway featuring the Bloodsuckers slot. As the site explains, the game from NetEnt includes a host of elements based on vampire stories, including stakes, garlic, and even the need to look inside coffins for bonus features. The undead are even thriving on the small screen as well, whether it is in the blood and guts of the BBC’s recent adaptation of Dracula, or the laughs provided by FX’s What We Do in the Shadows.
However, while Dracula might have left his mark on the entertainment world in recent years, could the new movie also have an impact in a different way? More specifically, could it encourage a number of people to visit the country which plays a key role in the story?
Possible tourism boost?
When it comes to tourism, Romania does not have a bad track record. After all, according to figures reported earlier this year, the country welcomed more than 13 million holidaymakers across 2019. The total marked an increase of 3.6 percent on the previous year.
People may choose to visit Romania for a number of reasons, but it is undeniable that some are inspired by the country’s association with the Dracula myth. For example, back in 2016, we looked at how tourists had traveled from across the globe to Tihuta Gorge to spend Halloween at a special event hosted by the Dracula Castle Hotel. Furthermore, Transylvania and sites like Bran Castle have been promoted in the past as places to visit in the fall due to their associations with the tale.
A new Dracula adaptation may well put a spotlight back on the original novel and, in turn, create some curiosity around the locations featured heavily within it. In addition, with talk around the new movie focusing on how it will be “faithful” to the original text, could Romania actually be used as a location within it? If it was, that may certainly encourage people to come and visit the sites that are included.
Serious staying power
It might be tough to kill a vampire, but it is fair to say that Dracula has had more staying power than even his original creator probably expected. The character has become a legend and his enduring popularity has made vampires a key part of our culture in a host of ways, from the big and small screen to so much more.
While it is perhaps not a huge surprise to see the character heading once again to the movies, it will be interesting to see if the new version features Romania or if it goes on to have an impact on tourism in the country.