It seems like every other day we get news about a new Stephen King project, so how about a project from Stephen King’s son to change things up? Abraham’s Boys, a short story that serves as a kind of sequel to Dracula, is a story that appeared in Joe Hill‘s excellent collection 20th Century Ghosts, and now it’s becoming a movie. Tea Shop Productions, who are responsible for the shark-tastic 47 Meters Down movies, has brought on writer-director Natasha Kermani (Lucky) to adapt Hill’s story into a feature film.
Deadline has the Abraham’s Boys scoop. In Joe Hill’s story, we meet Max and Rudy Van Helsing, sons of the famous vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing. While Dracula presented Van Helsing as a noble fighter against evil, Abraham’s Boys presents him as a violent, angry, downright abusive man who may or may not be completely crazy. As a result, his sons doubt his stories about vampires. What if there are no vampires, and Van Helsing is just crazy? If that plot sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because it’s very similar to the wonderful, underrated Frailty, directed by and starring the late, great Bill Paxton. In that film, Paxton plays a man who insists he’s been chosen by God to kill demons, and he drags his young sons into his traumatizing quest. Hill himself has admitted that Frailty is what inspired him to write Abraham’s Boys.
A Few Plot Adjustments…
As I mentioned above, in the story, Van Helsing’s kids are aware of his vampire hunting days. But the synopsis Deadline has suggests that’s being changed for the movie:
The action-horror story is a follow-up of sorts to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, testing the relationships Stoker formed in his original novel. The plot follows Max and Rudy Van Helsing, who know nothing of their father Abraham’s past and cannot understand his overprotective attitude and strange behavior. To make matters worse, Abraham is becoming increasingly more unhinged, paranoid, and violent.
I think the Van Helsing kids being aware of Van Helsing’s past is a better angle, but that might just be because I’ve read the short story and am having a hard time picturing it unfolding a different way. But I’ll let writer-director Natasha Kermani worry about that. “I’ve always loved Bram Stoker’s Dracula and was immediately drawn to Joe Hill’s unique and personal take on the legend of Van Helsing,” Kermani said. “Abraham’s Boys is an exciting opportunity to look at a familiar story through a new lens, and to explore classic characters and themes in a contemporary way.”
Tea Shop’s James Harris added: “I have always loved Joe’s short story, it has such an amazing tone and feel, so when we met Natasha we were blown away by how she wanted to approach it. Natasha is an exciting new filmmaker we are delighted to collaborate with”
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