Chloe Zhao is determined to continue her theme of bringing outsider stories to the big screen. But this one just might drain your jugular vein!
After what could only be described as a phenomenal year, what’s next for Chloe?
Chloe Zhao’s projects so far have been focused on characters considered outsiders, on the fringe of society. Her features have followed this theme with her most recent effort Nomadland winning her a best Director academy award.
Her next project, The Eternals, still deals with characters outside conventional society but is a sharp departure from her previous independent film roots. The Eternals will be her first mainstream blockbuster, under the watchful eye of Kevin Feige and the Marvel machine. Whether a superhero movie will let her maintain the subtlety humanity that has garnered such acclaim remains to be seen when the Eternals is released later this year in November. But after Marvel’ The Eternals, what’s next?
Chloe Zhao has been tapped by Universal to Direct the next film in their monster Dark Universe – Dracula. Universal’s ‘Dark Universe’ was supposed to be an interconnected universe similar to Marvel’s MCU with classic monster characters like Frankenstein, Jekyll and Hyde crossing over into each other’s films and eventually telling an overarching story. After the complete failure of their first film ‘The Mummy’ starring Tom Cruise, many believed the ‘Dark Universe’ project had been scrapped completely. But this wasn’t the case.
Related: You can read more about Universal’s Original Dark Universe plans here
What Universal have done is scrap the idea of interconnected films and instead let each film stand on its own and be director led. This approach has already been successful for them with 2020’s The Invisible Man (review) starring Elisabeth Moss proving hugely profitable. Dracula will be their second film under the relaunched Dark Universe and despite the supernatural nature of the material, the character Dracula fits with Chloe’s ethos as he is one of the most well-known ‘outsiders’. Living on the fringes of society, with desires others find unpalatable and often hunted and killed as a monster. It’s unclear what Chloes Zhao’s Dracula will look like as there are currently no actors officially attached to star.
Chloe has described her Dracula film as a ‘futuristic, Sci fi western’ which sounds like a Dracula film interpretation we have never seen before. She would have already begun to explore the themes of immortality in The Eternals, so with Dracula she will be able to go much deeper into this idea through his mythology, his lust and most importantly, the sense of detachment that must come from living forever. Dracula has always been an extraordinarily complex character so it will be exciting to see what ‘neck biting bloody wonders’ she is able to put together.