Dragons Get a Contemporary Update in ‘Slayer’

The son of an Oscar-winner sells his first screenplay to Hollywood, and it's a scorcher.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani


With the visual effects we have nowadays, Hollywood can do whatever it wants. They can bring Gods to life, travel to distant planets and even dress Stanley Tucci like a total goofball. But what they don't seem terribly interested in is dragons, the mythical beasts that have captured the human imagination for centuries. The last few films to feature some serious dragonage were flops like Eragon and Sucker Punch, so maybe the bottom's fallen out of the market. But with The Hobbit coming out at the end of the year, and the dragon Smaug patiently waiting to lay waste to the cities of Middle Earth, maybe the time has come to prepare for a zeitgeist. We suspect Legendary Pictures had that in the back of their heads when they optioned Slayer, a contemporary fantasy film from first-time screenwriter Martin Helgeland.

Recognize the last name? That's because Martin Helgeland is the son of famed screenwriter and sometimes-director Brian Helgeland, who was responsible for the screenplays for Mystic River, Man on Fire and L.A. Confidential, for which he won an Academy Award with the film's director/co-writer Curtis Hanson. Martin Helgeland is a student at Loyola Marymount, and is making his first sale with Slayer, which Hollywood Reporter describes as, "a modern-day story about a young doctor whose estranged father dies and he finds out the old man was a dragon and creature slayer. The doctor must become a slayer too."

In novels, of course, the preoccupation with dragons has never faded (check out "Game of Thrones" sometime) but in films this could be the start of a major comeback, assuming the film gets into active production.

CraveOnline will be back with more Slayer news after we practice our scales.