Karyn Kusama’s Mina Harker Movie Gets Canceled Just Weeks Before Filming

Posted 2022/04/24 5 0


It’s a sad time to be a fan of vampires. According to a report from Deadline, Blumhouse and Miramax’s upcoming Dracula film Mina Harker from director Karyn Kusama has been officially scrapped. Phil Hay, who was set as co-writer, announced his grief over the news.

“It’s been so heartening to hear all of your support for Karyn and MINA HARKER— a faithful adaptation of DRACULA, seen through Mina’s eyes, set in contemporary Hollywood and a real horror movie. We loved our cast, led by Jasmine, and our extraordinary crew. We gave it our all,” Hay said.

Mina Harker was going to be a retelling of the classic novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. But what would have set this adaptation apart from the others was that it was to be told from the perspective of Mina Harker. Mina plays an important role in the original story; introduced as the fiancé of Jonathan Harker, Mina assists the party in putting together the clues to the Count’s plans.

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By collecting the journals, newspaper clippings, and letters, she types up copies and gives them to the party and joins up to help Van Helsing destroy the Count. The information Mina gathers and puts in order helps the team in tracking down the Count in order to corner him. But Mina’s fate takes an unexpected turn when she is attacked by Dracula himself in the night, biting her three times and putting her under his hypnotic spell.

The rest of the novel shifts to the team trying to lift the curse. Van Helsing keeps a close eye on her throughout her process of shifting, her sleeping in the daytime, losing her appetite, and holy items burning her flesh. At the end of the story, Mina is spared her vampiric fate. The party kills Dracula and her curse is lifted. The book ends with talk of Mina and Jonathan’s married life and the children they have. But in some of the adaptations of the novel, Mina either perishes with Dracula or lives on while still bearing the curse.

A Woman of Darkness

Mina Harker was going to be directed by Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body) and be a feminine take on the classic vampire story. Jasmine Cephas Jones (Hamilton) in the titular role and set in modern Los Angeles. It would have also been the third film from Blumhouse to focus on the classic monsters, which started with 2017’s The Mummy and followed by 2020’s The Invisible Man. While The Mummy failed to stick the landing for a Dark Universe, The Invisible Man was praised by critics for its fresh take on the story, where it instead chose to shift the focus from the invisible man himself to the woman he stalks.

Considering Mina Harker’s arc in the novel, a film centering around her would have fit right in as a follow-up to The Invisible Man. Having a highly acclaimed woman director taking the wheel would have especially led to a potentially groundbreaking result. The news is especially shocking to the crew and fans, as the film was set to begin shooting in a mere three weeks.

While we have lost Mina Harker, Hollywood is still going strong with vampire projects. Universal is still chugging along with the horror-comedy, Renfield, starring Nicolas Cage as Dracula and Nicholas Hoult as the titular henchman. The Bride, a horror-thriller about a woman being stalked by Dracula, is also in production and starring Nathalie Emmanuel and Garrett Hedlund. It’s still a great shame to see a Kusama project being shelved before it can get a proper chance.

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