Adding a minor twist to an existing IP these days has become standard practice with TV, yet somehow Syfy’s gender-flipped Van Helsing series is nowhere near as surprising as its helmer. Playwright and indie filmmaker Neil LaBute, of all people, will showrun the new Syfy vampire series, following the adventures of Vanessa Helsing.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, the new series will follow Vanessa Helsing, the next in a lineage of warriors who must lead mankind against a world controlled by vampires. The character awakens, resurrected five years in the future, learning both that vampires have taken over the world, and that she possesses unique power over them.

Production of its first 13 episodes will begin in January for a fall 2016 launch. LaBute will executive produce produce with Simon Barry, Evan Tyler, Dave Brown, Daniel March, and Chad Oakes and Mike Frisley for Nomadic Pictures (Fargo). Says LaBute of the surprise move:

I am extremely excited to be working with Syfy and Nomadic Pictures to create a unique, character-driven action series that will move the traditional vampire tropes into bold and unexpected new territories. This is a wonderful chance for us to forge great stories and unforgettable characters and throw them into a world where the stakes – both dramatic and personal – are tremendously high.

Adds Nomadic:

Van Helsing represents a new mythology in sci-fi by challenging traditional vampire rules. The series is unique in exploring a world completely dominated by vampires, while the human characters have to learn the importance of working together to ensure their survival. Mike and I are thrilled to team up once again with the talented Neil LaBute to deliver an amazing series.

It’s certainly an unusual choice for LaBute, even with his few TV credits to date, but does Van Helsing sound like a worthwhile risk for Syfy?

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