Even though we clamor for original horror, Hollywood being in full-on franchise mode could work to our advantage.
If you go all the way back to 1931 you’d see the birth of the franchise, where Frankenstein, Dracula and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde spawned many of sequels. In years following, Universal Pictures also unleashed The Wolf Man, The Creature Of The Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man and even The Mummy. They have become known as the “Universal Monsters.”
Even though the studio has already dabbled in remakes – from The Wolfman to The Mummy – word has it they’re determined to revive them all, again, in a way similar to how DC and Marvel have been creating massive superhero blockbusters.
Says Deadline, Universal is now dedicating renewed resources and an unprecedented, far-reaching commitment to revitalize its monster heritage.
The studio is in early stages of developing a substantial new production endeavor that will expand and unify a network of classic characters and stories. The architects of that narrative will be Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan.
Kurtzman recently broke with partner Roberto Orci, but his big-scale projects have included Transformers, Star Trek and The Amazing Spider-Man. Morgan is the writer behind five installments of The Fast And The Furious, which has been Universal’s most reliably lucrative franchise. It’s not set in stone yet if either will write, but they will soon be going around town enlisting talent to bring new cinematic life to these enduring characters from lore, literature and Universal’s own library.
While Universal has selectively tapped its Movie Monster library for The Mummy, Van Helsing, The Wolfman, and the upcoming Dracula Untold, this will be the first time that the studio has formalized an approach to these classic characters in a cohesive, connected way rather than as a series of stand-alone projects by disparate filmmaking teams.
They’ve begun the meetings to put together an interconnected slate of Monster films, and the first will be a reboot of The Mummy, which will be released April 22, 2016. Part of their duty will be to work closely with production, marketing, promotions and consumer product to support the revival. They will also reevaluate projects which have preexisting attachments, and bring it under one cohesive strategy.
With The Mummy being the first on the slate, which Universal Monster do you want to see revived next? And how could all of these monsters be united – in a new Van Helsing? This is beyond exciting news!