‘Monsters’ Sequel Will Be a ‘Heart of Darkness’ Tale

Published 3 years ago by

Early details about the sequel to Gareth Edwards Monsters Monsters Sequel Will Be a Heart of Darkness Tale

Every now and then a little-seen but highly valuable sci-fi gem quietly sneaks into theaters – and last year’s micro-budgeted post-alien invasion drama, Monsters, definitely fits that bill.

Monsters writer/director Gareth Edwards is moving on to bigger things now, having landed the job of helming Legendary Pictures’ upcoming Godzilla reboot. So even though that means Edwards won’t be directing, or working on the visual effects for, a Monsters sequel (or any other spin-off project connected to the Monsters universe), Vertigo Films is still pressing ahead with a followup.

Bleeding Cool has picked up a few details about the next Monsters movie, which was officially announced by Vertigo at the currently-ongoing Cannes Film Festival. The studio has decided to go the route of the Paranormal Activity franchise by only budgeting the Monsters sequel at around $5 million – which means it will still be approximately five times as expensive an undertaking as Edward’s original feature.

Filmmaking duo Jesse Atlas and Brent Bonacorso (of the Terry Gilliam-style sci-fi short Now and Nowhere) will be calling the shots on the Monsters sequel – a project that producer Allan Niblo says is being designed as a drama along the lines of Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad’s novel about a journey through the African wilderness during English colonization (or, less likely, the famous documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now).

Like its predecessor, the Monsters followup will also revolve around two characters (this time, a pair of brothers) whose respective histories are largely kept a mystery – and who set out on a journey into an “infected zone” where the extraterrestrials (or “monsters”) reside in larger numbers.

Monsters andrew sam Monsters Sequel Will Be a Heart of Darkness Tale

Fans should be pleased to learn the new Monsters movie is being designed as a lower-budgeted and character-driven piece. As Screen Rant‘s Kofi Outlaw put it in his Monsters review, the original film is anything but a thrill-driven creature feature shot in a cinéma vérité style so it feels more “realistic” – instead, it does “what the best sci-fi films have always done: use an extraordinary set of circumstances as the framework for an insightful human story.”

However, one tidbit in Bleeding Cool‘s report that could provide reason for concern is that the Monsters sequel will involve “a greater variety of digitally created aliens than Gareth Edwards ever deemed necessary.” Part of the reason that could be problematic is that the original film thrived by not over-exposing the aliens (the old Jaws trick, so to speak) and subtly heightened anticipation for the few brief moments when the enormous extraterrestrials did appear – most notably, in the quiet, yet gorgeous, climax of the film.

With all that said: Monsters may be one of those unique pieces of cinematic art that worked in a fashion that cannot be replicated in a sequel. Best to wait and see for now, all the same.

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The Monsters sequel is expected to begin production this September and will likely be shot on location in Argentina. As always, we’ll keep you posted on its status.

Source: Bleeding Cool

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13 Comments

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  1. I have such mixed feelings about the original Monsters film.
    As you so aptly put it, the “gorgeous” climactic scene with the two monsters also has a surprising emotional depth. The viewer is sort of forced into supplying his own interpretation of the event, yet skillfully guided by the film-maker, you can’t help but feel a sort of awe and emotional upheaval during the scene.

    Unfortunately, the monsters were so few and far between, and their “motivation” was so mysterious, that it was difficult to truly invest in that final moment. It should have been touching, and moving, but with little to no preparation for that event, it came this close to just falling flat.

    Where I had more trouble with the film was with some of the more mundane aspects of the main characters’ behaviour. And of course, some of the camera work bothered me and felt entirely superfluous.

    I’m very very much on-the-fence regarding this film.
    I’m curious about a sequel, but since it’s basically not the same people doing it, it’s just going to be a new film.

    • Well said.

      I admit I am tiring of these micro budget sci-fi movies. With so little to fund the FX, you have WAY too much boring and mundane goings on waiting for the 5-10% of the time we see the creatures or hints of them.

      These are supposed to be “Science Fiction” movies but with so little sci-fi, it barely qualifies as the genre it’s marketed for.

      • Very well said mongoose. If a film calls itself sci-fi then shouldn’t it be required to show us the science and the fiction?

        Human drama with a backdrop of sci-fi barely qualifies most of the time.

        District 9 did a spectacular job though.

  2. I watched part of this movie then turned it off, it was far too boring.

    • Word to this comment.

  3. hope godzilla is dark and kinda creepy,but monsters had my hopes up and the only good thing in that film was the eggs on the trees, and the thing grabbing up a truck. a sequel is not really wanted, i mean i love good story driven character films but the story was not really that good.

  4. I really liked the original Monsters movie. I think it would benefit better as a stand alone film but, as with everything, money talks. Unfortunately, Gareth Edwards and the original cast is not returning, so I’m taking a wait-and-see attitude with this one right now.

  5. Oooh, Monsters, watched this the other night via a Redbox rental and I have to say it was great at building drama,

    A particular scene comes to mind, eerie staircase into jungle, odd noises, guys cocking machine guns, and then….

    NOTHING HAPPENED. Pretty much sums up the movie.

    A sequel is not needed or welcome.

    • Well said……. I haven’t seen this but your comment conveyed the same sentiments my friends had with it which is why I haven’t seen it.

  6. Monsters was Cowboys Eating Pudding.

  7. I know this thread is a little old, but I thought I’d comment just in case.
    I just viewed Monsters a couple nights ago with my long time sci-fi buddy and I must say that we had a very different experience. I thought the movie well a well crafted, fable like science fiction tale about real people living in a world dealing with an accidental alien invasion. I liked District 9 but this movie hit home where that one failed, having main characters with whom I could not only sympathize but also empathize. This little love story did feel boring to me at some points, especially in cases where the dialogue was a little lackluster, until I stopped and reflected on how these characters seemed so real. I felt as though I could I knew who they were and what they were going through, how they felt so strongly pulled together despite the strange, and sometimes awkward, situation they were in. I thought their relationship was beautiful and I would like to think that they escaped together in the end, perhaps to live in this walled city to see more of the creatures. And the climax? Superb and unexpected, well worth the “boring” bits. I felt like I was delivered a heart felt, personal science fiction story that I haven’t experienced since reading the final chapters of Ender’s Game.
    Did I want more creatures and weird flora and fauna that they brought with them? Did I want to see more of their exotic world? Of course, but for this story, what we saw was enough. I am actually really intrigued by the sequel due to its Heart of Darkness storyline and the complete backing it has from the creator and original actors. The guys they have helming it are not exactly “money makers”, I mean they work with/for (?) Terry Gilliam and that wonderful man has never made Hollywood any money. If they bring more creatures and a great story then I think maybe they will not only deliver a great sequel, but the sort of movie that does the genre some justice; a sci-fi flick with heart and soul in the vein of Blade Runner the final cut, rather than the latest Alien movies or Predator sequels.

  8. I own monsters and thought it was vaery brilliant and I believe like others that its the close encounters of the 3rd kind of monster films…I really don’t like the idea of a sequel. Monsters is a great gem as a standalone…usually for movies ..sequels tarnish the reputation I sure hope this doesn’t happen to monsters.

  9. I quite liked the original. The music primarily, the actors, Samantha (especially), their building relationship, which indeed calls in to question legitimacy of calling the film SF. I agree; it isn’t really SF, yet the question of who are the real “monsters” in the film remains. Regardless, it is thoroughly enjoyable

    Replacing the original’s characters, Kaulder and Sam, seems to be a horribly bad decision. The sequel ought to explore the societal impact of containing or not being able to contain the “infestation.” Exploring that through the eyes and experiences of the original characters seems an appropriate way to do that.

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