Jackman the vampire slayer?

Dec. 30, 2003 at 4:25 PM

PASADENA, Calif., Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Hugh Jackman follows up his portrayal of Wolverine in the "X-Men" movies with a turn as a monster hunter in the period film, "Van Helsing."

"I play (Abraham) Van Helsing and it's a loose adaptation of Bram Stoker's version (of 'Dracula') where there is a 60-year old Dutch professor who's into the occult and Dracula and things like that," Jackman recently told reporters in Pasadena. "(My character) is the 34-year-old version of him."

The Australian actor says the upcoming film initially portrays Van Helsing as a mercenary for the Catholic Church who "just killed any possessed soul out there that they send him to kill."

"His mission is to go to Transylvania and follow the trail of Dracula and take him out," Jackman continued. "He encounters a lot of other monsters on the way and gets involved romantically, which, of course, he doesn't want to do and things get very complicated. It's a very good story."

Directed by Stephen Sommers ("The Mummy,") "Van Helsing" is due for release next year. Jackman is currently starring in the hit Broadway musical "The Boy From Oz."

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