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Dark Horse to publish "Van Helsing" one-shot

Official Press Release

When Universal Pictures' Van Helsing opens in theaters on May 7, 2004, the legendary vampire hunter will also be arriving be in comic stores across the nation. Through a licensing agreement with Universal Studios Consumer Products Group, Dark Horse will produce a Van Helsing one-shot, written by Joshua Dysart and drawn by J. Alexander, giving readers a taste of this summer's new epic action-adventure film from writer-director Stephen Sommers (The Mummy, The Mummy Returns). Set in the late 19th century, Sommers' screenplay draws inspiration from the studio's classic horror properties and finds Bram Stoker's fabled monster hunter, Van Helsing, summoned to a distant Eastern European land on a quest to vanquish evil. The film stars Hugh Jackman (X-Men, Swordfish, Kate & Leopold) and Kate Beckinsale (Pearl Harbor).

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About the One-Shot

What evil lurks beneath the Paris streets? Who stalks the sewers of the City of Light? Van Helsing may be the only man who can solve this mystery. Only he can end the reign of terror that plagues the city. Taking place within the Van Helsing film's chronology, Dark Horse Comics' Van Helsing one-shot begins with the title character's descent into the sewers and ends only when he discovers the mystery behind the predator who lurks there.

"Van Helsing is a 19th century hero, fighting the supernatural manifestations of chaos and evil," writer Joshua Dysart explains why he loves Van Helsing's high concept. "Scott Allie and I knew we had to pack in as much classic cinema horror reference that 22 pages could stand if we were to remain true to the property, so that's how we approached the narrative. While the film uses virtually all of the classic Universal monsters, I was able incorporate some cool villains not seen in the film for the comic book."

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Said editor Scott Allie: "The really high level of energy and inventiveness Stephen Sommers was committed to bringing to the film were inspirations for Joshua and Jason, who really strove to match those standards."

The Van Helsing one-shot is available May 7 for the retail price of $2.99

About the Film

Deep in the mountains of Carpathia lies the mysterious and mythic land of Transylvania-a world where evil is ever-present, where danger rises as the sun sets, and where the monsters that inhabit man's deepest nightmares take form. Innovative filmmaker Stephen Sommers-who so imaginatively re-envisioned Universal's classic Mummy character in the worldwide blockbusters The Mummy and The Mummy Returns-now widens his cinematic scope and multiplies his creative inspiration by breathing new life into the most time-honored pantheon of classic Universal monsters and setting them in a stunning new world of fantastical reality. Sommers' all-encompassing vision for a world as tangible, real and visceral as any caught in the stranglehold of inescapable evil blends the recognizable and the unimaginable into a vivid, epic backdrop for his tale of ultimate evil against a lone force of good: Van Helsing.

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About Universal Studios Consumer Products Group

Universal Studios Consumer Products Group (USCPG) is responsible for global licensing and retail strategies as well as building brand recognition. USCPG is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Vivendi UNIVERSAL Entertainment (VUE) (www.universalstudios.com), the U.S.-based film, television and recreation entity of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.

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