Over the years, we’ve had no shortage of Dracula performances; at this point, he’s a bit like superhero movies: you’re never too far away from another one.
We’ve had old and creepy (1922’s Nosferatu), meta (1994’s Ed Wood), badly accented (1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula) and even nicely Nicolas Caged (2023’s Renfield), so you’d be forgiven for thinking cinema has sucked the character dry.
Read more: 6 Dracula actors you may have forgotten
However, that’s where you’d be wrong.
With this year’s The Last Voyage of the Demeter, audiences will be treated to a claustrophobic story-within-a-story that has Transylvania’s most famous resident lurking at its core.
Here’s everything we know about it so far, from plot, cast, trailers and more.
When is The Last Voyage of the Demeter released?
The Last Voyage of the Demeter was set to be released in cinemas worldwide on Friday, 11 August however, that has since changed.
When the movie's original UK distributor eOne was bought out by Lionsgate the film's release date all-but disappeared and hasn't returned since. In short, The Last Voyage of the Demeter is currently lost at sea with no UK release date to be found.
Hopefully, this will change soon and perhaps we'll be able to watch the movie by Halloween. After all, it's directed by André Øvredal, the Norweigan filmmaker behind cult horror classics like The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Trollhunter and 2019’s Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark — so we’re in good hands when it comes to big-screen scares.
What is the plot of The Last Voyage of the Demeter?
The plot for Øvredal’s Dracula movie has its roots in Bram Stoker’s original 1897 novel Dracula, specifically the chapter entitled ‘The Captain’s Log.’
This thrilling section of Stoker’s story chronicles Dracula’s journey from rural Transylvania to bustling London via a merchant ship known as the Demeter. Stripped of his castle comforts, Count Dracula is confined to the shadows, while the ship’s poor crew remain oblivious to the danger that lurks below deck.
Sadly, that obliviousness doesn’t last too long as soon enough, the crew start to disappear one by one as Dracula’s bloodlust takes hold.
The film’s official synopsis mirrors these plot beats, teasing what Øvredal has in store.
“Strange and horrifying events befall the doomed crew as they attempt to survive the ocean voyage from Transylvania to London, stalked each night by a merciless presence onboard the ship: a legendary vampire known as Dracula," it says, ominously. “When the Demeter finally arrives off the shores of England, it is a charred, derelict wreck. There is no trace of the crew.”
During a conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Øvredal doubled down on the strength of the film’s core concept, calling it “Alien-on-a-ship-in-1897.”
Consider us sold.
Who is starring in The Last Voyage of the Demeter?
With the action based primarily onboard its titular shadowy vessel, The Last Voyage of the Demeter relies on a compact cast to tell its story.
Liam Cunningham will play the ship’s hardy captain, the person everyone will no doubt be looking to when people start to mysteriously disappear. You’ll likely remember Cunningham best as Davros Seaworth in Game of Thrones.
He’ll be joined by The Suicide Squad’s own Polka-Dot Man, David Dastmalchian, as Wojchek, the ship’s trusty first mate. The Walking Dead’s Corey Hawkins will play Clemens, the ship’s on-board doctor. Let’s hope he specialised in haematology.
Meanwhile, Aisling Franciosi, who starred in Game of Thrones and controversial thriller The Nightingale, will play Anna, a young runaway who probably wishes she picked a different ship to hitch a ride on.
As for the big bad himself, Øvredal’s Dracula will be played by Spanish performer and actor Javier Botet. When Botet was young he was diagnosed with a rare disorder known as Marfan Syndrome which resulted in extra joint flexibility and his limbs being a little longer than usual.
Using this to his advantage, Botet has appeared in a number of creepy classics including Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, The Conjuring 2 and Øvredal’s own Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter could see him sink his teeth into his most visually impressive role yet as one of cinema’s most beloved movie monsters.
Also onboard is Irish star Chris Walley as Abrams and Nicolo Pasetti playing Deputy Hirsch. Stefan Kapičić, Jon Briones, Nikolai Nikolaeff, Woody Norman and Martin Furulund are also due to appear in the movie in undisclosed roles.
Is there a trailer for The Last Voyage of the Demeter?
Øvredal wasn’t wrong comparing The Last Voyage of the Demeter to Ridley Scott's Alien — as the movie’s first full trailer plays out like it’s set on a wooden version of the Nostromo.
Released in April 2023, the teaser introduced us to the Demeter’s crew as they slowly come to realise that something truly evil may be lurking in the cargo hold of their ship.
A few months later, in July 2023, a new trailer gave us another look at the Botet’s otherworldly Dracula.
There is something out there… The Last Voyage of the Demeter only in theaters August 11. pic.twitter.com/WyqlyqSb83
— The Last Voyage of the Demeter (@UniversalHorror) July 18, 2023
The Last Voyage of the Demeter has no set UK release date.