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Robert Pattinson Might Play Dracula in Chloé Zhao’s New Movie and I’m Losing My Mind Over It

He's never beating the vampire boy allegations I'm afraid.

Edward Cullen, played by Robert Pattinson, makes his entrance in the Forks High School cafeteria in Twilight

Maybe it’s the fact that The Twilight Saga is getting rebooted and Robert “#1 Certified Edward Cullen Hater” Pattinson sensed the disturbance in the Force and realized he had to do something about it. Or maybe he discovered he really connected with bats after his time as Bruce Wayne and was looking for another role in which they were more or less involved. Who can tell.

Whatever the reason, the internet and various fandoms have by now been swept through with the rumor that Pattinson might be in talks to take on the lead role in Academy Award winner Chloé Zhao’s new project. And that project is none other than a new take on what is undoubtedly the cinematic vampire—Dracula.

The rumor first surfaced on the Patreon page of Daniel Richtman, known for nabbing wild scoops, and started spreading from there. Pattinson shot to global fame after his five-movie run as Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga, a character that was the very textbook definition of “problematic” and that still left a massive, sparkling crater in the collective mind of my generation. And trust me, I am speaking from experience.

Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, played by Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, arrive at Forks High School in a scene where Edward should most definitely be sparkling and yet he isn't
The way I forced my mom to take me and my middle school best friend to our local cinema SEVEN TIMES so that we could see this movie over and over. I’m not even exaggerating (Summit Entertainment)

Ever since The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 premiered in 2011, Pattinson has however distanced himself from the role of Edward and he has taken on a wide array of projects both mainstream and indie, and working with directors like Christopher Nolan, Robert Eggers, and Bong Joon-ho—who helmed Pattinson’s most recent acting project, Mickey 17, scheduled for release in 2024.

The idea that Pattinson might once again play a vampire is beautifully circular, especially considering he started out his career with a very peculiar take on what is arguably the most famous of monsters and that he would now be playing the character that inspired the whole genre in the first place. If you had told this to fourteen-year-old me, who was simultaneously obsessed with Twilight as well as Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula starring Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder, I think her brain would have simply stopped working.

Gary Oldman as Dracula meets Winona Ryder's Mina Murray in Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula
Just like Robert Pattinson, I really am never beating the vampire girlie allegations and to be honest, maybe it’s because I saw this movie way earlier than I should have (Columbia Pictures)

The Internet predictably loves the idea and the reactions are priceless

As the news was making its way around the Internet, you can imagine the reactions it inspired throughout fandom.

For example, we all know that if this proves to be true we have a whole barrage of Edward vs Dracula memes coming our way:

And considering what we can see on Letterboxd this might very well be happening:

Someone also pointed out how the Twilight Renaissance is really hitting the rest of the movie industry:

And someone also confirmed my “Twilight is getting rebooted and Pattinson knew he had to do something” theory:

This might just shaping up to be a great moment in cinematic history:

So what do we know about Chloé Zhao’s Dracula so far?

All jokes (and hopes) aside, this is still very much a rumor and we won’t know anything for certain until we have an official casting announcement.

What’s sure is that Chloé Zhao is indeed working on her own take on Dracula, something that was confirmed by Variety all the way back in February of 2021. 

In that article, it was stated that Zhao was going to be the project’s writer, producer, and director and that the movie—produced by Universal within its wider effort of re-imagining popular and beloved monster characters—was going to be “in the vein of a futuristic sci-fi western”. 

As a director, Zhao has been interested in exploring those living on the fringes of society and so we can expect those themes to pop up in her Dracula as well. In that same Variety piece that first reported the news, she said that she has always “been fascinated by vampires and the concept of the Other they embody. I’m very excited to work with […] the team at Universal to reimagine such a beloved character”. 

It seems safe to say that it’s definitely going to be an interesting story to see once it hits cinemas, whether or not Robert Pattinson might be in it—but I personally think it would be much better if he were.

(featured image: Summit Entertainment)

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Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.