2022 has seen the emergence of a new online phenomenon: the virtual book club email chain known as Daily Dracula. Started on Substack, the newsletter emails a chapter of the original novel to the reader from May through November to coincide with the date in the novel chapter, so readers can experience the day-to-day book as it happens. The series has become an online phenomenon, receiving widespread attention and renewing interest in Stoker’s original novel like never before. While Dracula has been adapted dozens of times, this new style of story delivery allows for a whole new way to adapt Stoker’s book.
Dracula has been adapted to the big screen more than almost any other character, but most adaptations vary greatly from the book. This started partly out of necessity; the book was controlled by Stoker’s widow for the first few decades she refused adaptation rights to most, including German director FW Murnau who freely adapted it for Nosferatu. Universal’s 1931 film starring Bela Lugosi set the standard for loose adaptations, and since then Dracula in film and TV has rarely resembled his novel counterpart. Also from 1992 Bram Stoker’s Dracula it only superficially resembles the novel, adding a romantic plot and extra scenes. While all of these adaptations have their merits, none really capture the original book.
What Dracula Daily could mean for future adaptations
Daily Dracula opens the door to new possibilities. A future Dracula the adaptation could easily follow suit, releasing new episodes on Netflix or other streaming services to coincide with every day of the year, delivering the novel in small bites (pardon the pun) to recreate the feel of both the book that of the novel of the successful reading email chain. This style would allow a miniseries to capture both the original book’s mood, tone, and pace wise, but also the large cast of characters from the source novel and the vast world of untapped plot events and lore. Stoker’s novel could finally hit the screen in its entirety.
Adapting the book in this way could have many benefits for fans and literary adaptations in general. Daily Dracula certainly demonstrated how willing fans were to engage in small beats with Stoker’s novel, as it generated interest in researching the historical contexts of the work as each chapter fell, as well as fan love for previously underappreciated characters like Jonathan Harker. It would allow the book to return to its roots as an account of the vampire as a terrifying monster rather than a misunderstood romantic hero; the recent Dracula the adaptations have made some effort to capture his status as the original villain as well.
How Dracula Daily Could Change TV
Telling the novel in this way created a new style of storytelling. Other novels are now being turned into similar online series such as Weekly Frankenstein And Carmilla quarterly. This style of storytelling isn’t entirely new; many 19th-century serialized novels were also published in small portions in newspapers over the years. Recapturing this style of serialized storytelling seems to be a possibility that many online are excited about. While there are many benefits to the modern trend toward binge-watching Netflix series, the excitement of waiting for the next installment can be lost in that format, and capitalizing on the classic weekly narrative format could reopen the door to serial storytelling.
There are many Dracula adaptations in the works right now; the character has been constantly being adapted and will continue to be so. However, most of the adaptations are still loosely based on the original; the Daily phenomenon has shown that fans will be quite excited about a long history of the famous Count. The possibilities are open now and the next big one Dracula the adaptation should consider following the formula of this popular web series to finally recapture what made Stoker’s original book such a success.