When it was announced yesterday that veteran actor Rutger Hauer would be joining Dario Argento's 3D adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic novel 'Dracula,' it was the final piece of evidence needed to prove that one of my greatest dreams was coming true: Yes, folks, Rutger Hauer is back.
Honestly, Hauer never really left; it's just that recent years have found the actor working in foreign productions overseas as Hollywood has moved on to a younger (and in most cases, blander) generation of stars. Sure, Rutger was never exactly an A-lister (although he did make THR's list of the 50 most bankable actors in the world in the late '80s), and he's appeared in his fair share of bad films over the years (e.g., 'Wedlock'), but he's an instantly recognizable face to film fans for his work in titles like 'The Hitcher,''Blade Runner' (probably his finest hour) and 'Turkish Delight.'
2011 is shaping up to be the year of the Hauer renaissance. Aside from playing Van Helsing in Argento's film -- which is perfect casting -- the 67-year-old Dutch actor also had two films appear at Sundance. Both were well received.
The first, 'The Mill & the Cross' finds Hauer playing artist Peter Breugel, while '80s-styled exploitation throwback 'Hobo With a Shotgun' casts him in the lead role as a homeless man cleaning up the streets with extreme prejudice. If that weren't enough, the actor also had a supporting part (starring alongside Anthony Hopkins, another actor who's played Van Helsing) in Warner Bros.' supernatural thriller 'The Rite.' It feels like we're witnessing a Mickey Rourke–type comeback here.