Universal Rebooting Classic Monster Movies As New Cinematic Universe

Published 9 months ago by

universal monster movies reboot Universal Rebooting Classic Monster Movies As New Cinematic Universe

For a while there’s been (unsubstantiated) talk about Universal possibly rebooting its many classic monster movie franchises (Dracula, Frankenstein, etc.) to form a cohesive cinematic universe – going back to when powerhouse duo Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci got involved with projects like The Mummy and the Van Helsing reboot. Well, over the months since Orci hinted that this is indeed the plan, he and Kurtzman parted ways as working partners, which left the state of Universal’s monster movie plans in question.

Deadline, however, is now reporting that Kurtzman and Chris Morgan – writer/producer on the Fast and the Furious property since the mid-2000s and co-writer on last year’s 47 Ronin (both for Universal) – have been tapped by Universal, to serve as the architects on a rebooted classic monster universe. To be exact, one where the installments are put together in a “cohesive, connected way” rather than as “projects by disparate filmmaking teams” - possibly even a Shared Cinematic Universe (a la Marvel Studios’ superhero films), by the sound of it.

Franchises are hot commodities in Hollywood right now, and Universal is doing its part to keep up in that game; next year, for example, the studio will release new Fast and the Furious and Jurassic Park installments (no crossovers, unfortunately…), along with the Despicable Me franchise spinoff, Minions, and a handful of sequels to recent hit original intellectual properties (see: Ted 2Pitch Perfect 2). In other words, rebooting the classic monsters franchise reads as being a natural continuation of that strategy (though, it’s probably not music to the ears of film buff who’re hoping for something a little more outside the box and innovative from the studio).

Luke Evans Vlad the Impaler Dracula Untold Movie Universal Rebooting Classic Monster Movies As New Cinematic Universe

Luke Evans as Vlad from ‘Dracula Untold’

The problem, however, is that most of the aforementioned iconic monster properties are now in the public domain, so Universal will have to compete with other studios that’re putting modernized spins on old classic creatures. Universal, as it were, has the Dracula origins film Dracula Untold arriving in October – though it’s actually the Mummy reboot (scheduled for 2016) that is going to serve as the beginning of the new Cinematic Universe – but 20th Century Fox will be first to put a new spin on the Frankenstein mythology (no, this year’s I, Frankenstein doesn’t count), with the film Victor Frankenstein in Fall 2015.

Hence, Universal is moving quickly to get this monster universe off the ground; in addition to having Kurtzman and Morgan plan out “an interconnected slate of Monster films,” the studio (according to Deadline) has the pair of writer/producers onboard to oversee such matters as production and marketing. On top of all that, both Kurtzman and Morgan will be re-assessing in-development projects that have “preexisting attachments,” such as the currently-directorless Mummy reboot and the Invisible Man reboot that David S. Goyer had been developing (though, it’s been nearly three years without an update on that Goyer venture, so…).

van helsing frankenstein Universal Rebooting Classic Monster Movies As New Cinematic Universe

‘Van Helsing’ (2004) featured multiple iconic monsters

It remains to be seen if Kurtzman and/or Morgan contribute to the writing on any of these classic monster reboots, given their other commitments. Personally, I would prefer to see them recruit either up and coming and/or less-mainstream filmmakers to handle the tasks of writing/directing these movies instead, a la Marvel Studios – and what Lucasfilm is now doing with Star Wars. That way, Kurtzman and Morgan would be serving as intermediaries between studio executives and the artists striving to realize their visions for resurrecting properties like Creature From the Black Lagoon and so forth, on the big screen.

Does the prospect of Universal rebooting its many classic monster properties to form a Cinematic Universe sound intriguing to you? Or are you already more than satisfied with getting your iconic creature fix from other sources (Showtime’s Penny Dreadful TV series, for example)?

Source: Deadline

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  1. Reboots, Reboots, Reboots!!!! Originality in Hollywood is gone :(

  2. Reboots!!!! Originality in Hollywood is gone :(

    • That is the most idiotic and cliche statement ever made. There is hundred of original ideas put onto film each year. Stay out of the limelight and go seek out,these films. There are more original film ideas than ever before.

      • thank you for commenting on G’s comment….that whole reboot argument people use is a bit annoying….and i am right there with you that you need to go look for those “original” movies…i mean, Chef, Begin Again, Argo, Twelve Years a Slave, Nightcrawler, Interstellar, all of them original ideas as far as i know…I think people like G are just trolling, or don’t really go out and look for movies or aware they even exist…Hollywood is big enough for the tentpoles and the “original” movies…..

    • All of these films have been remade many times. The upcoming Mummy reboot will be at least the fourth, off the top of my head. So fine, originality is gone, but that isn’t new. It was gone almost 100 years ago when most of these got their first remakes. Half of them are based on books in the first place, anyway.

  3. If Dracula Untold and Victor Frankenstein aren’t considered the beginning of a shared universe, or even gonna be part of one, it would be a damn shame. Dracula Untold seems like a great way for to bring back their glory days from the 1930s-1950s. I thought they could make films for Dracula, Frankenstein, reboot Wolfman, and Invisible Man. Along with the upcoming Mummy reboot, they could bring them all together, Avengers style, in a better Van Helsing film.

    • Dracula Untold and Victor Frankenstein are coming from two entirely different Studios. Dracula Untold is part of the Universal Monsters franchise, owned by Universal Studios. While Victor Frankenstein is being done by Fox.
      While the idea for Victor Frankenstein is good, it is focusing on the man Victor Frankenstein and Igor, not the monster. Last I heard Universal was holding off on making the Frankenstein movie because of all the Frankenstein movies coming out. Most notably the bomb I, Frankenstein.

  4. they need to be gothic like hammer or set in the past

  5. I am quite excited by the idea of a shared Universal Monster Universe (The UMU!) The classic monsters are going to be put into new films until the end of time….that much is a given…..but to have the Universal cycle revamped….that could be something extraordinary.

    I’ll admit I wasn’t too impressed with the Dracula Untold trailer the first time I saw it online. However, after seeing the trailer at the theater, I’m on board. The visuals look quite stunning and gothic. I think that if Universal treats the remakes properly (As much I as enjoyed the ’99 Mummy flick, I never viewed it as a true remake. To me it was more of an action flick that happened to have The Mummy in it) I think that this could turn into something amazing.

    • Bring them all back to fight king Kong!

  6. Me i am huge fan of univerdsal monster dracula untold is pequels movies and the new dracula movies for universal monster and the mummy,the wolfman,van helsing,creature from the black lagoon,the insible man,the ape woman, and other monster as well and their will bring back old days in the 1930 to 1950 universal monster and their star the universal monster cinematic universe withe dracula untold ,the mummy (2016) and we will see more universal monster coming back for future monster movies in 2017 and beyond as well.

  7. My advice to Universal would be to start with one of their lesser known monsters. Make it serious & dark. No over-the-top action, effects & crappy modern music. All the overdone monster movies that have been done in recent years or even going back to the 90′s have been done this way. Perhaps date them all before the 1940′s, as well.

    You don’t have to gore it up, either. Make them creepy & tense. Of course, if they choose to go down the road that everyone has done a thousand times already, they most likely won’t succeed in the way they hope.

    Once Universal tastes success with a lesser known monster, people will be itching to see what they do with their well known classics.

  8. I could get behind a non-musical (though I do like the musical), book-faithful big-screen Phantom of the Opera.

    There’s a lot of rich material in Leroux’s novel that could be worth bringing to the screen. I don’t think there’s been a version that’s all that faithful to the novel since Lon Chaney’s (which rang a few changes on the material, but was probably the most true to the book of the lot).

  9. This will be awesome.

  10. I’m all for a shared universe. As for remakes or reboots, I’m with most everyone, there’s to many. However the monsters are in a different league all there own. They where made to have sequels, remakes, & reboots. That’s the magic of the monsters, they always come back. No matter how you kill them they always find a way to rise from the grave. All I hope is that they keep to the spirit of these wonderful creatures, dark, gothic, & adventurous. If they do that I’m in all the way. Dracula untold has now revealed it will be the first installment in the monster universe, fallowed by the mummy. I can’t wait!

  11. I like the idea of rebooting the old black and white monster movies. I know they have been remade in the past, for instance Dracula love never dies in 1992, Or the Mummy in 1999. And I know that people are seeing remakes left and right but these movies are ones that for some reason ya just cant get enough of. And fore some reason the plots are so changeable that you can always bring something new to it, that even when it differs in plot like Dracula 1931 vs 1992 or the new one from this year it still works some how.
    Plus I think there has been enough time between remakes that its okay, though I admit the last mummy movie wasn’t that long ago I don’t think the mummy 3 should count at all. It wasn’t even about Egypt for goodness sake.

  12. The imagination of what we grew to know and experience from these monsters gives us every opportunity to see a modern version that begs for a greater appreciation of embracing the past successes and repairing the failures. Good writing will making these moves legendary. I feel we only got a glimpse of Dracula, and i look forward to seeing what powers, experiences and challenges for Vlad/Dracula. As for the upcoming new monsters; Victor Frankenstien does delve into the depths of death itself. I think all these monsters have this connection, lets see how the writers play with death and connect them all. All these monsters may come together for this reason for something greater at stake.