Abigail (2024 film)

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Abigail
A young girl in a blood-stained white ballerina outfit looks up.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Written by
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyAaron Morton
Edited byMichael Shawver[1]
Music byBrian Tyler
Production
companies
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
Running time
109 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$28 million[3]

Abigail is a 2024 American vampire horror film[4] directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett from a screenplay written by Stephen Shields and Guy Busick. Based on and a reimagining of the 1936 Universal Classic Monsters film Dracula's Daughter, the film stars Alisha Weir as the eponymous daughter of Count Dracula, alongside Melissa Barrera, Dan Stevens, Kathryn Newton, William Catlett, Kevin Durand, Angus Cloud, and Giancarlo Esposito.

A reboot of Dracula's Daughter was announced to be in development in April 2023, with Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett attached as directors, and Shields and Busick hired to write the screenplay. It was also announced that the film would be a co-production between Bettinelli-Olpin, Gillett, and Chad Villella's Radio Silence Productions, James Vanderbilt, Paul Neinstein, and William Sherak's Project X Entertainment, and Tripp Vinson's Vinson Films. Barrera was cast that same month, with Weir, Stevens, Newton, Durand, Cloud, and Catlett hired the next month, and Esposito rounding out the main cast in June.

Principal photography began that month in Dublin, Ireland, but was suspended at the beginning of July due to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. Filming resumed at the end of that month and wrapped in December. This was the last film that Cloud worked on during his lifetime, as he died on July 31, 2023, shortly after wrapping filming of his scenes. Brian Tyler, a frequent collaborator of Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett, was hired to compose and conduct the film's score. This film is dedicated to Cloud.

Abigail had its world premiere at the Overlook Film Festival on April 7, 2024, and was released by Universal Pictures on April 19, 2024.

Premise[edit]

The film focuses on a group of kidnappers who capture and must watch over Abigail, the daughter of a powerful underworld figure from whom they demand a $50 million ransom. However, they soon get more than what they bargain for when they realize that they are trapped inside with no ordinary little girl but a vampire child who hunts them down one by one.[5]

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In April 2023, it was reported that Radio Silence Productions was developing a monster thriller film for Universal Pictures, with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett attached to direct, with Chad Villella serving as producer alongside William Sherak, Paul Neinstein and James Vanderbilt at Project X Entertainment, while Stephen Shields and Guy Busick would write the screenplay. The project was stated to be a modern-day adaptation of one of the Universal Classic Monsters characters similar in approach to The Invisible Man (2020) or Renfield (2023), with the synopsis being described as "a unique take on legendary monster lore and will represent a fresh, new direction for how to celebrate classic characters". Originally intended to be Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett's next project following the release of the fifth Scream installment, the duo delayed its realization until after Scream VI.[13]

The project was later stated to have originally been titled Dracula's Daughter, the same name as the 1936 film upon which it is based;[8] with Universal restating that while they had considered a singular continuity with The Mummy (2017), each release will continue to be "rooted in the horror genre, with no restrictions on budget, rating or genre. They are not part of a shared interconnected universe, which allows each film to stand on its own. This new direction is filmmaker-driven, inviting innovative filmmakers with original, bold ideas for these characters to develop the stories and pitch them."[6][8][7][10] The film was officially titled Abigail in January 2024.[14]

Casting[edit]

In April 2023, Melissa Barrera was cast one of the main roles of the film after previously appearing in the filmmaking duo's Scream films.[6] The following month, Dan Stevens, Kevin Durand, Alisha Weir, Kathryn Newton, Angus Cloud, and Will Catlett joined the cast.[7][10][8][9] In June 2023, it was announced that Giancarlo Esposito was cast in a supporting role.[11] Weir, known for her role as Matilda Wormwood in the 2022 Netflix musical film, was later revealed to be playing Dracula's daughter.[15]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began on June 30, 2023, in Dublin, Ireland,[16] under the working title Abducting Abigail,[17] but filming was suspended in July due to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike.[18] Aaron Morton serves as the cinematographer.[19] Cloud finished filming his scenes prior to his death on July 31, 2023.[20] Filming wrapped on December 15 of the same year.[21]

Music[edit]

Brian Tyler composed the film's score; he collaborated with Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett on prior projects.[22]

Release[edit]

Abigail had its world premiere at the Overlook Film Festival on April 7, 2024.[23] It was released by Universal Pictures on April 19, 2024.[9]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

In the United States and Canada, Abigail will be released alongside The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare and Spy × Family Code: White, and is projected to gross $12–15 million from 3,300 theaters in its opening weekend.[3]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 84% of 31 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.7/10.[24] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 62 out of 100, based on eight critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Abigal Production Information". Universal Pictures. Getty Images. Retrieved March 12, 2024.
  2. ^ "Abigail (18)". BBFC. April 4, 2024. Retrieved April 4, 2024.
  3. ^ a b Rubin, Rebecca (April 17, 2024). "Box Office: Dracula's Daughter 'Abigail' Tries to Take a Bite Out of 'Civil War' With $12 Million Debut". Variety. Retrieved April 17, 2024.
  4. ^ Noraas, Dana (January 17, 2024). "'Abigail': Release Date, Cast, Trailer, and Everything We Know About Melissa Barrera's Next Horror Movie". Collider. Retrieved April 6, 2024.
  5. ^ Couch, Aaron (January 11, 2024). "Monster Movie from Scream Directors Gets Title, Trailer". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 11, 2024. Retrieved January 11, 2024.
  6. ^ a b c Kroll, Justin (April 13, 2023). "'Scream' Star Melissa Barrera Reunites With Radio Silence On Secret Monster Movie For Universal". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 13, 2023. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c Kroll, Justin (May 11, 2023). "Dan Stevens Joins Radio Silence's Secret Monster Movie At Universal". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 11, 2023. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  8. ^ a b c d Kit, Borys (May 9, 2023). "Matilda: The Musical Star Alisha Weir Joins Melissa Barrera in Untitled Monster Movie From Scream VI Filmmakers (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 12, 2024. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  9. ^ a b c D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 12, 2023). "Radio Silence Universal Monster Thriller Adds Angus Cloud, Kathryn Newton & Will Catlett; Sets Spring 2024 Release". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 12, 2023. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  10. ^ a b c Grobar, Matt (May 12, 2023). "Kevin Durand Joins Radio Silence's Monster Thriller For Universal". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 12, 2023. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  11. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (June 14, 2023). "Giancarlo Esposito Joins Radio Silence's Secret Monster Movie At Universal". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 14, 2023. Retrieved June 14, 2023.
  12. ^ ‘Abigail’ Review: A Remake of ‘Dracula’s Daughter’ Turns Into a Brutally Monotonous Genre Mashup
  13. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 11, 2023). "'Scream' Filmmaking Team Radio Silence Reunites With Project X On Untitled Monster Movie At Universal". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 11, 2023. Retrieved April 11, 2023.
  14. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 11, 2024). "Universal's Melissa Barrera & Angus Cloud Monster Thriller From Radio Silence Gets Title & Trailer". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on January 11, 2024. Retrieved January 11, 2024.
  15. ^ Couch, Aaron (January 11, 2024). "Monster Movie from 'Scream' Directors Gets Title, Trailer". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 11, 2024. Retrieved January 11, 2024. Sources previously told The Hollywood Reporter that the child is the daughter of Dracula.
  16. ^ Geisinger, Gabriella (June 23, 2023). "Dan Stevens, Melissa Barrera monster thriller filming in Dublin". Kemps Film and TV Production Services Handbook. Archived from the original on June 23, 2023. Retrieved June 23, 2023.
  17. ^ "Abducting Abigail". Production List. Film & Television Industry Alliance. May 1, 2023. Archived from the original on October 30, 2023. Retrieved May 1, 2023.
  18. ^ Gonzalez, Umberto (July 13, 2023). "Here Are All The Movies Affected by the SAG-AFTRA Strike From 'Deadpool 3' to 'Mission: Impossible 8' (Photos)". TheWrap. Archived from the original on July 14, 2023. Retrieved July 13, 2023.
  19. ^ "Aaron Morton Resume" (PDF). Murtha Skouras Agency. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 29, 2024. Retrieved January 29, 2024.
  20. ^ Vlessing, Etan (August 1, 2023). "Angus Cloud Completed Filming on Two Upcoming Films". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 1, 2023. Retrieved August 1, 2023.
  21. ^ Echebiri, Makuochi (December 18, 2023). "Universal Monster Thriller From Radio Silence Wraps Filming". Collider. Archived from the original on December 23, 2023. Retrieved December 18, 2023.
  22. ^ "Brian Tyler to Reteam with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett on 'Abigail'". Film Music Reporter. January 11, 2024. Archived from the original on January 12, 2024. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  23. ^ Grobar, Matt (March 6, 2024). "Universal Vampire Flick Abigail Set To Close Out Overlook Film Festival – View Full Lineup". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 13, 2024.
  24. ^ "Abigail". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 18, 2024.
  25. ^ "Abigail". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved April 17, 2024.

External links[edit]