The Last Voyage of the Demeter (also known as Dracula: Voyage of the Demeter in some international markets) is a 2023 American supernatural horror film directed by André Øvredal and written by Bragi F. Schut Jr. and Zak Olkewicz. It is an adaptation of “The Captain’s Log”, a chapter from the 1897 novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. The film stars Corey Hawkins, Aisling Franciosi, Liam Cunningham, and David Dastmalchian. Its plot follows the doomed crew of the merchant ship Demeter led by Captain Elliot (Cunningham) who attempt to survive the treacherous ocean voyage from Transylvania to London while being stalked by a legendary vampire, known as Dracula (Javier Botet).
Planning for the film adaptation of “The Captain’s Log” began when Schut Jr. wrote the initial spec script when he befriended a colleague who worked on Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), but did not come to fruition by languishing in development hell for more than two decades. After Amblin Partners obtained the rights in October 2019, Øvredal was announced to direct the film. The main cast members were confirmed in 2021. Principal photography began on June 30, 2021, in Berlin, continued in Malta, and ended on October 1. Some of the movie scenes were also recorded in the fortress city of Mdina. Thomas Newman was originally hired to compose the film’s score, but was replaced by Bear McCreary due to Newman’s scheduling conflicts.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter was theatrically released in the United States on August 11, 2023, by Universal Pictures. The film received mixed reviews from critics, and grossed $16.2 million worldwide against a budget of $45 million, making it a box-office flop.
While working at a model shop in Hollywood, Bragi Schut Jr. befriended a colleague who worked on Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). Schut Jr. took interest in a miniature of the Demeter used for the film and began writing an Alien-inspired film set aboard the ship. Based on the chapter “The Captain’s Log” from Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, Schut researched the time period to ensure authenticity. In 2003, Phoenix Pictures acquired the film and tapped Robert Schwentke to direct and rewrite the script with Mitch Brian. Progression on the film would stagger until December 2006 when James V. Hart, screenwriter of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, turned in a new draft of the script. By May 2009, Schwentke moved on and Marcus Nispel would step in as his replacement. Production was slated to begin that year. However, due to complications adapting the period setting and filming on the water, Nispel too would depart. By March 2010, the studio moved onto Stefan Ruzowitzky to direct while Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, and Bradley J. Fischer were slated to produce. After generating Oscar buzz, Fischer sought out a meeting with Noomi Rapace in August 2010 to discuss the film. He performed his own revisions to the script and officially cast Rapace and Ben Kingsley in October of that year. Ruzowitzky would exit the film in favor of taking on Deadfall (2012).
David Slade became attached to the film in February 2011, but reports indicated that Rapace was likely to drop out of the film due to her impending commitments to Prometheus (2012). Rapace would verify these doubts the following month. Days later, Jude Law was reportedly in line to lead the film. The next month, Slade reassured that film was still moving forward despite signing on to a Daredevil film. In May 2012, Neil Marshall and Millenium Films boarded the film to direct and produce. Novelist Lowell Cauffiel was brought along for further rewrites. By June, Viggo Mortensen began talks to portray the lead role. Kingsley was still said to be attached to the project while Rapace’s involvement stayed in doubt. In December 2014, Marshall remained hopeful that the film would be made. Much like the filmmakers before him, Marshall would leave too.
In October 2019, it was announced André Øvredal would direct the film with Amblin Partners obtaining the rights. In January 2021, Corey Hawkins joined the cast of the film with a new draft written by Zak Olkewicz. In December 2022, Schut Jr. and Olkewicz received screenplay credit, Schut Jr. received screen story credit, and Brian, Cauffiel, Hart, Ruzowitzky, and Schwentke received off-screen additional literary material credit.
- Corey Hawkins as Clemens, a doctor who joins the Demeter.
- Aisling Franciosi as Anna, an unwitting stowaway, and forced slave of Dracula.
- Liam Cunningham as Captain Elliot, the captain of the Demeter.
- David Dastmalchian as Wojchek, the Demeter‘s first mate.
- Javier Botet as Dracula, a powerful vampire, and master of Anna.
- Woody Norman as Toby, Elliot’s grandson
- Jon Jon Briones as Joseph, the cook
- Stefan Kapičić as Olgaren
- Nikolai Nikolaeff as Petrofsky
- Martin Furulund as Larsen
- Chris Walley as Abrams
- Nicolo Pasetti as Deputy Hirsch
- Sally Reeve as Landlady
August 11, 2023
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