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Neil Marshall Will Take ‘The Last Voyage of the Demeter’

Neil Marshall Last Voyage
Universal

In the original novel of ‘Dracula,’ the vampire count arrives in London after a lengthy sea voyage from his native Transylvania, during which he made full use of the crew as a food source. Naturally, the men on board The Demeter didn’t know that something horrible and undead was living in that coffin in the storage hold and most of them never set foot on dry land again. This segment of the story is getting fleshed out into a movie of its own, to be directed by Neil Marshall.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter‘ has been floating around Hollywood for quite some time now and has resisted translation to the silver screen despite the best efforts of David Slade (‘Hard Candy’) and Timur Bekmambetov (‘Wanted’). Despite the behind-the-scenes problems, ‘The Last Voyage of the Demeter’ remains conceptually strong. Although it’s a minor sequence in Bram Stoker’s novel, it’s a creepy, memorable and fresh take on a character who has been done to death. Most adaptations of ‘Dracula’ tend to skim over the scenes on the Demeter to get the iconic vampire to London as quickly as possible, so while this exists firmly in the ‘Dracula’ canon, many audiences are not familiar with it.

Bragi Schut’s script (which was originally written a decade ago) sounds like a riff on the ‘Alien‘ concept: a ship’s crew, far from home, is picked off one-by-one by a bloodthirsty creature with no pity and remorse. It sounds like a perfect project for Marshall, a terrific filmmaker whose career has yet to truly take off.  Although ‘Dog Soldiers,’ ‘The Descent’ and ‘Doomsday’ lack healthy box office receipts, they have helped him develop a following for his cleanly shot action and genre affections.

Is the third time the charm for ‘The Last Voyage of the Demeter’? If it means Neil Marshall getting more work, we certainly hope so! If you’re an HBO subscriber, you can see some of Marshall’s work in a few weeks: he helmed the penultimate episode of this season’s ‘Game of Thrones.’

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