Coppola's 'Dracula' emphasizes the erotic

January 27, 1992|By Los Angeles Times

HOLLYWOOD -- Director Francis Ford Coppola wants to make it quite clear that his Dracula movie is unlike any other Dracula movie. He's calling it "Bram Stoker's Dracula," and claims it is the only film version that offers the complete story from the 1897 Stoker novel of the vampire count, which has been made into scores of movies through the years.

Coppola's film, which is finishing up shooting on the Columbia lot, stars Gary Oldman as Count Dracula, Winona Ryder as Mina and Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing in a particularly erotic telling of the Dracula legend. Columbia says that previous movie "Dracula's" have played up the horror and played down the eroticism of Stoker's novel.

Given the prominence of the author in the movie's billing, you might guess there's a book tie-in working. You'd be right. But because the book is in the public domain -- which means that any publisher can put out an edition of it -- negotiations for the book deal are a little different.

"It's a special property because it's in the public domain," says Esther Margolis, a former longtime Bantam Books executive, who now runs her own Newmarket Press, in addition to helping Columbia, TriStar and other studios with their book tie-ins.

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