SDCC’16: ‘Van Helsing’ Promises Blood, Vampires, and Kickass Women

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It’s been almost a decade since the vampire genre sparked in popularity, sparking movies and television shows such as Twilight and The Vampire Diaries. The romanticizing of the famous monster has seemed to have left a bad taste in people’s mouths and made them reluctant to give the genre another chance. However, on Thursday at San Diego Comic Con, SyFy provided a sneak peek at the show that might change viewers’ minds. Van Helsing takes a slightly different path on the classic character—such as turning  he into a she.

The plot is a tad different from the Hugh Jackman film; Kelly Overton plays Vanessa Helsing, a direct descendant of the legendary Arthur Van Helsing. She lives in a post-apocalyptic world where vampires rule over a dying civilization. When Vanessa wakes up from a coma, she’s on a desperate search for her daughter and uses whatever (and whoever) to help her find her.

The panel included Overton, Jonathan Sharfe (Axel), Christopher Heyerdahl (Sam) and executive producers Simon Barry, Chad Oakes, and Mike Frislev. The creator/show runner, Neil LaBute, joined by phone.

Overton showed such passion and commitment as she discussed her research for the role. She looked to Aliens’ Ripley for inspiration and you can see the similarities in the scenes they showed. She uses an assault rifle to take on vampires (with only one hand, mind you) and also uses the traditional punching and kicking. Overton’s fighting style reflects Sigourney Weaver’s iconic moves.

Show runner, Neil LaBute, assured the audience that Van Helsing will not be like a typical vampire flick. The writers completely reimagined the mythology by mixing in different types of lore. There will be three different types of vampires in this world: the feral vampires, the vampires who use human as cattle on an industry level, and the elite vampires. And stakes won’t be the only thing Vanessa will be using to take on vampires; she’s also able to turn them back into humans by biting them. This concept is very unique to the vampire mythology and is sure to bring many twists and turns to the series.

Fans will get a special sneak peek of the pilot on July 31st after Sharknado 4 is aired. As a special treat, the episode will be commercial free so fans can enjoy the blood and gore without any breaks

After that, the series will begin its 13 episode first season on September 22nd.

Yasmin Kleinbart is a 20 something hiding in Orange County, California. She loves to watch movies with a craft beer in one hand and pad thai in the other.When she's not writing about entertainment, she's participating in nerd trivia at the bar or trying to beat the Water Temple in The Legend of Zelda.