A few weeks ago news hit that the producers of the upcoming super serious Van Helsing remake, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (who also wrote Transformers, Star Trek Into Darkness and Cowboys And Aliens), were going to be creating an Avengers type universe with the Universal Monsters library. A lot of people treated this like it was a new idea, but the fact is these creatures have crossed paths many times before, going back almost 80 years.
Even studios that weren’t Universal have gotten super close to this idea, chief among them TriStar back in 1987 with Fred Dekker’s The Monster Squad. While it’s not a perfect film, it’s a lot of fun (helped in no small part by a script from Shane Black). It’s also the closest thing we’ve seen in recent years to the scenario that seems to be in everyone’s heads – these monsters teaming up for some reason. The idea of Dracula, Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s Monster and Gill Man joining forces is inherently dumb, so something in this tone is pretty much the only way it works. For the life of me I can’t imagine a $100M+ film by committee matching it.
There’s also the framework of Kurtzman and Orci’s past work, which doesn’t really sing to me the way this does (what with its internal logic and beginning, middle and end). So what do you think? Sure Monster Squad is just a cute Goonies riff, but is there any scenario in which this idea gets better?
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