A dangerous adversary with a misplaced vengeance, Mehmed’s greed directly prompts Vlad’s transition into a creature of the night.
Director David Shore shares: “It’s easy to take it too over the top and be too ‘arch’ with this arch-nemesis character, so I wanted Mehmed to be engaging, charming, a conversationalist—a wonderful man to have in the room, but someone who you do not trust as far as you can throw!”
The filmmakers had seen Dominic Cooper in “The Devil’s Double” and were struck by his ability to be incredibly charming and yet, at a moment’s notice, switch to a psychotic state. Producer Michael De Luca relays: “Dominic has such range to go from Howard Stark in `Captain America’ to what you see in `The Devil’s Double,’ which was so intense. He was so in that character that we chased him, and felt blessed that we got him. Dominic brings a character actor’s intensity, with a movie star’s good looks.”
When Vlad reunites with Mehmed, there are tense and futile negotiations between the two. Once brothers in arms during the time that a younger Vlad unwillingly served Mehmed’s father in the Turkish army, they are soon to be revealed as sworn enemies.
Their first scene together is a vital exchange of information for the audience, as we grow to understand the relationship between Mehmed and Vlad…and the terror of Vlad’s dark past. Cooper provides: “It’s very much a performance played out to manipulate and to anger and to upset. But it also reveals their history together: that Mehmed’s father stole Vlad away from his own family to bring him up as a child warrior and that Vlad and Mehmed had a very close bond as children.”
The year is 1462, and Transylvania has enjoyed a prolonged period of peace under the just and fair rule of the battle-weary Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, and his beloved and brave wife, Mirena (Sarah Gadon). Together, they have brokered peace for their country and ensured its people are well-protected, especially from the powerful Ottoman Empire—an ever-expanding scourge that has its sights on global domination.
But when Sultan Mehmed II (Dominic Cooper) demands 1,000 of Wallachia’s boys—including Vlad’s own son, Ingeras (Art Parkinson)—be torn from their parents’ homes and forced to become child soldiers in his army, Vlad must decide: do the same as his father before him and give up his son to the sultan, or seek the help of a monster to defeat the Turks but ultimately doom his soul to a life of servitude.
Vlad journeys to Broken Tooth Mountain, where he encounters a foul demon (Charles Dance) and enters into a Faustian bargain—one that gives the prince the strength of 100 men, the speed of a falling star and enough power to crush his enemies. However, he will be inflicted with an insatiable thirst to drink human blood.
If by the end of three days Vlad manages to resist, he will return to his former self, and perhaps in that time manage to save his people. Though should he drink, he will be forced to dwell in the darkness for the rest of his days, feeding only on the blood of humans…and destroying all that he holds dear.
Opening across the Philippines on October 15, “Dracula Untold” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.