Pull out your capes and fangs, folks! A Dracula prequel is coming out, thanks to Bram Stoker's great-grandnephew, Dacre Stoker. Set in 1868, Dracul will follow Bram as he encounters the spooky creatures that would later become the focus of his writing. Although Dacre has written a prequel to his great-granduncle's most famous novel before — 2009's Dracula: The Undead, co-authored with Ian Holt — his forthcoming book is the first Dracula prequel to be authorized by Bram Stoker's estate.
Dracul has been in the works since 2010. Dacre says his book draws from Bram Stoker's journal, family legends, and the original manuscript for the 1897 novel. He claims that there are 102 lost pages from that manuscript, only 17 of which have ever been found. In 1914, Bram's widow published those pages as a short story titled "Dracula's Guest."
In the Dracula prequel, Bram will meet "an ungodly evil, which he traps in an ancient tower," according to the press release. The Guardian quotes Simon Taylor, editor at Dracul U.K. publisher Transworld, who says that the upcoming novel "speculates on what Bram Stoker’s early life — he was a sickly child, often bedridden — might have been like had the creatures he later created been real."
Simon Taylor told The Guardian:
“The authors have very cleverly and convincingly resurrected the tone of the original but in a modernised voice. It includes some nicely handled nods to the original novel, and like Dracula often uses an epistolary narrative form. I think the novel works so well because it’s both a proper partner to the original Dracula – doesn’t mess with that story but honours it – while being a deliciously, blood-chillingly creepy horror novel in its own right.”
Paramount Pictures has already secured film rights to Dracul, with Andrés Muschietti attached to direct. Muschietti is currently riding high on the success of his IT film adaptation, which premiered Thursday night for a record-breaking weekend, grossing $117.2 million to score the biggest horror-movie opening in history. He previously rose to fame as the director of the 2013 hit Mama, and is currently attached to direct both Joe Hill's Locke & Key TV series and the film adaptation for the hit 2005 video game Shadow of the Colossus.
Dracul will be co-written by J.D. Barker, who should totally go by Jonathan D. Harker for this project, I'm just saying. Barker's novel, Forsaken, was a finalist for the 2014 Bram Stoker Award for First Novel. Expect to find Dracul at your favorite bookstore sometime in 2018.