Milky Way Media is to make new feature film The Vampyre: Blood & Ink, adapted from the first ever vampire story from John William Polidori.

Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Bombshell) and Sir Derek Jacobi (Murder on the Orient Express, The Sand Man) have been attached to the adaptation, which will be the first retelling of the original Vampire novel, The Vampyre, written in 1819, proceeding Bram Stoker’s Dracula by nearly a hundred years.

Frances Barber (Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, Dreamland), rising star Amelia Gething (Emily, Mary & George), Amelia Clarkson (Red Rose, The Last Kingdom), and Bill Fellows (Ted Lasso) have also been attached to the film.

The Vampyre: Blood & Ink depicts Polidori’s dark account of the famed and mythical creatures. It begins with Lord Ruthven, a mysterious and magnetic nobleman who captivates London society with his charismatic charm. Aubrey, a young Englishman, becomes infatuated with Ruthven and is drawn into a world of secrets and supernatural horror. As Aubrey uncovers the truth about Ruthven’s sinister nature, he finds himself trapped in a perilous battle against the allure of the vampire’s deadly powers.

The screen play is written by debut screenwriter, Rosanna Hamlin, alongside playwright and director, Trisha Ward (Nightshriek/The Two Wolves) who will both work with producers John Ward (The Two Wolves/Children’s Past Lives), veteran producer John Dodds (Merchant of Venice/The Man Who Married Himself), and associate producer Jamie Bulman (The Two Wolves).

The producers recently created the original feature film The Two Wolves, starring Sir Derek Jacobi, James Cosmo, Frances Barber, Thomas Doherty and Dove Cameron.

Production is set to begin later this year across the UK and Northern Italy.

John Ward, Producer and Co-Founder of Milky Way Media says “Polidori’s novel was the source material for many for of the vampire stories that we now know and love and that are so pivotal to centuries of gothic storytelling. This is the origin story that preceded Bram Stoker’s iconic Dracula – and it is time this original version was brought to the big screen. We’re eager to breathe new life into this iconic tale, with an incredible cast and the extraordinary writing talents of Rosie and Trisha”.

Rosanna Hamlin, Screenwriter, comments “John Polidori is the father of vampiric literature as we know it and we have him to thank, for everything from Dracula to The Vampire Diaries. To date, he has been an overlooked pioneer of Gothic fiction, so it has been a pleasure to revisit this unparalleled novel and rediscover the timeless allure of the vampire mythos. This story is based around the balance of desire and darkness, love and horror and the complexity of the mind.”

Trisha Ward, Screenwriter, says “It’s genuinely baffling that this much-loved, world-famous story has never been depicted on screen. With the incredible cast we have assembled and the strength of Polidori’s original dark depictions of vampirism, we believe we have a unique opportunity to finally bring The Vampyre to life on screen”.


Jon Creamer

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