Exclusive: “HOLIDAYS” Director Gary Shore on Charlie Cox’s Excised “DRACULA UNTOLD” Role!Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
Over the past two years, the name “Charlie Cox” has gone from up-and-coming leading man to full-blown household name, having played the title character in Marvel & Netflix’s immensely popular DAREDEVIL series as well as one of the more memorable turns on BOARDWALK EMPIRE. However, while Cox has yet to take a genre credit to his name, there was one time where he almost was a part of a major studio horror effort: Gary Shore’s DRACULA UNTOLD, where Cox was slated to play a vampiric version of the Roman Emperor Caligula before the role was left on the cutting room floor. While talking to FANGORIA about HOLIDAYS prior to its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival last night, Shore revealed Cox’s involvement in DRACULA UNTOLD, and how the film’s inclusion in the Universal Monsters Universe shifted the narrative…
FANGORIA: It was reported before the release of DRACULA UNTOLD that Charlie Cox had been cast in a small role as Caligula, perhaps in a prologue. Yet when the film came out and hit Blu-ray, his footage was nowhere to be found. Can you tell us a bit about his role in the film and why it was excised?
GARY SHORE: Sure. Charlie Cox originally did the part that Charles Dance came in and did. So we built this huge set in Belfast and we shot the whole thing, and we cut it together in the edit, but what happened was that the story changed afterwards. Universal was gearing up to set up their Monsters Universe. So the film, which was developed before Universal wanted their Monsters Universe, was set up as DRACULA: YEAR ZERO, and then the title changed mid-shooting.
There was a collection of instances where things were changing and evolving along the way that were completely out of my control. So when the discussion came about on what characters were going to lead on in this Monsters Universe, Charlie’s character- which was Caligula- was going to be something entirely bigger, so he either needed to reshoot the scene with a new set of dialogue or we had to re-cast with a whole new set-up. So we had to reshoot the scene no matter how we looked at it, and when you think about it, the story did need an older, more ragged vampire; that’s why he’s credited as “Master Vampire,” because he’s been around for a couple thousand years.
From there, it became a thing with a studio where things got a little political when we talked about the different casting choices. But I had to call Charlie as well because I wanted him to hear it from me and I wanted to talk to him. So we were in the UK for reshoots and I called him to tell him, and he took it really, really well. He was terrific about it, and he said, “I appreciate the call, but I just got something today and… I think I’m gonna be alright.”
It ended up being DAREDEVIL, and [Charlie] is such a wonderful actor and collaborator to be around. I was really delighted for him and it was really excellent to see him as DAREDEVIL. I hear it’s doing well!
HOLIDAYS is now available on worldwide VOD from Vertical Entertainment, and hits limited theaters next Friday, April 22nd. Stay tuned for more on HOLIDAYS and Gary Shore here at FANGORIA.com!