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Wow, Hollywood seems swept up with Count Dracula at the moment!

It emerged today that NBC will have a 10-episode program about the infamous vampire, played by Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers. You may remember this actor from the Showtime series, The Tudors where he played a skinny and always youthful King Henry VIII, as well as Bend It Like Beckham opposite Kiera Knightley.

This show, simply called Dracula, will have the Transylvanian count traveling to London in the late 19th century, where he meets a young woman who may be the reincarnation of his lost love.

Hmmm, sounds a bit like the 1992 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola?

Anyway, this could be an interesting show. I think Rhys Meyers could do a decent job acting-wise, but I can’t seem to picture him as a powerful villain. I guess he’s too boyish looking, but we’ll see.

Also, the cable channel Starz recently announced it is producing a Dracula-themed program, and this one will be about Vlad Dracula, the 15th century prince who inspired Bram Stoker’s character. This I am more intrigued to see rather than NBC’s show, because I would like to see how Starz will showcase the historic Dracula. About 10 years ago, one of the cable stations – I think the USA network – did a movie about Vlad Dracula and it was fairly decent.

In case you don’t know, Vlad Dracula was a Prince of Wallachia, which is a region in present day Romania. While he was known for fighting the Ottoman Empire from spreading into Eastern Europe, Vlad was most notorious for his cruel, sadistic ways – particularly his execution methods. He preferred to impale his enemies and anyone he thought violated the law on spikes and let them slowly suffer and die. It is believed tens of thousands died this way, and Vlad supposedly would dine among his impaled victims, eating as they slowly died while dipping his bread into a bowl of their blood and slurping that down. That is why he was also known as Vlad the Impaler – or Vlad Tepes in Romanian.

Anyway,  I wonder if Hollywood’s new found interest in Dracula has to do with reclaiming the famous vampire from all the loving, friendly ones that are popular in books, movies and TV shows these days. I’ve heard so many times that people who either big or casual fans of vampires are tired of the nice vampire and want to see them as villains again. Perhaps by telling the story of Dracula – both historic and fictional – vampire fans will have their wish granted.