By Simon Dang | The Playlist October 19, 2010 at 1:21AM
Writer-director James Gray should probably be working on his planned adaptation of David Grann's "The Lost City Of Z" with Brad Pitt at the moment and, despite a lack of updates on the project since Cannes, we're still hoping for it to shoot after Pitt wraps on Bennet Miller's baseball-drama "Moneyball" -- and maybe when that nasty beard he grew to portray Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett returns.
In the mean time, Gray has been taking a few assignments here and there one of which includes assisting French triple threat Guillaume Canet on his English language take on "Les Liens Du Sang," a French family crime drama very much in the vein of Gray's "We Own The Night." In addition to that, "Sons Of Anarchy" star and "Thor" contender Charlie Hunnam has now revealed that Gray has also worked on the script for his period actioner based on the story of Dracula himself, Vlad The Impaler - a project currently being developed at Pitt's Plan B Entertainment shingle.
"It’s exciting," Hunnam told Cable360. "It’s getting closer and closer. Unfortunately, I had to turn it over to another writer now because they hired a director and they wanted another rewrite to make it a production draft, and I was feeling there was just no time for the process. But they got an amazing writer—a guy called James Gray, who wrote 'Little Odessa' and just finished writing Brad Pitt’s new movie. And so Plan B had a good relationship with him. He doesn’t usually do rewrites. He’s an original writer. But they just sent him the script and said, 'Listen, we would love for you to do a rewrite of this if it takes your fancy,' expecting him to say no, and he ended up saying yes. So it was a real coup for us that we got him. And selfishly, I’m very happy because I think he’s a far better writer than I am. So I’ll get the credit for his brilliant work, which is the Hollywood way, you know."
"Vlad" currently has music video director Anthony Mandler attached to helm and centers on the origin story of Dracula that doesn't "touch on vampirism." Instead, Vlad is described by Hunnam as "the hero in our version" who "went to war with the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, which had a standing army of 200,000 men. [Vlad's] army was 30,000 and yet he’d go into battle with these guys and reign victorious." Sounds like a macho-"300"-esque war film rather than a 'Twilight' but with rewrites from a talent of Gray's quality, we're intrigued as to what will come of it all.
"I would love to [star in it]," Hunnam adds. "But I’m realistic about the likelihood of that happening because it’s a giant, giant, $85 million dollar spectacular, so I think the reality of them hiring me is pretty slim. I think they’ll probably go with Christian Bale or some big name [Hunnam had previously namedropped Colin Farrell as his ideal Vlad], you know. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do some part in it, some little part." Interestingly, Hunnam also reveals that he "just lost a movie to Justin Timberlake last week" which we presume was Andrew Niccol high concept sci-fi-thriller, now titled "Now," formerly titled "I'm.mortal.
Having seen "Sons Of Anarchy" irregularly, we think Hunnam is definitely an actor to keep an eye on. He already has "The Ledge" with Matthew Chapman on the horizon but having failed with a bid for the title role in "Thor" and Niccol's recent film, we hope his potential doesn't end up unfulfilled on a cable television drama. As for Gray? We've had our fingers crossed hoping things pan out for "Lost City Of Z" since Cannes.