Is it really an official prequel if the author didn’t write it? Dacre Stoker, great-grandnephew to Bram Stoker, is blurring the obvious answer to that question.
Dracula, published in 1897, is one of the most famous examples of Gothic literature to date. Bram Stoker, the author, wrote Dracula as a standalone novel. The vampiric horror story became integrated into the literary canon and can often be seen in English class lesson plans for high school and college students.
Dacre Stoker, however, had other plans for his distant uncle’s novel. In 2009, he wrote a sequel to Dracula, titled Dracula the Un-dead. While the book received decent reviews, some cast doubt on the book’s claim as an “official sequel”, a phrase plastered right on the cover.
Now, as if to further challenge a dead man’s rights to his own novel, Dacre is writing a screenplay for a Dracula prequel, which will be titled Dracul. According to an article by The Guardian, Dacre looked over the original notes for Dracula to seek inspiration and direction for his film. And since Dacre is technically part of the Stoker estate, he can push canonical terms such as “prequel” and “sequel” onto his works.
While promoters may cling on to the idea that Dacre’s film is a true prequel, this fact remains: Bram Stoker has been dead for over a century. Regardless of what blood runs through Dacre’s veins, his works will never truly be canonical to Bram’s original novel. To market it as such is a tactic to sensationalize the film.
But Bram not having a hand in the film doesn’t mean it will flop. There are plenty of takes on Dracula that show public interest in the old vamp is as lively as ever. Contemporary culture has placed him in movies, books, and even graphic novels. These variations on the 1897 novel, however, are no less or more legitimate to the original story than the works by Dacre Stoker.
Interested in seeing the many faces of Dracula? Check out some versions below: