Universal Pictures is in the process of rebooting its shared monster movie universe for the 21st century, starting in 2017 with the release of The Mummy from director Alex Kurtzman (who is overseeing the rebooted monster-verse with Fast & Furious series writer/producer, Chris Morgan). The studio is also reported to be developing reboots of such supernatural monster film series as Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, and The Wolf Man, among others.
So far, Universal has confirmed that Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) is playing The Mummy in the rebooted monster cinematic universe. Also confirmed as part of the monster-verse’s ensemble cast is Russell Crowe, who will make his debut as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde in Kurtzman’s The Mummy. Beyond that, a handful of A-listers have been reported as either in talks or being courted to headline one of the upcoming Universal monsters over the past year – and we can now add yet another big-name star to the potential roster.
Deadline reports that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is (allegedly) Universal’s top choice to headline The Wolf Man reboot down the line. This news was included as part of a larger article about Sony Pictures having acquired the pitch for a Son of Shaolin movie, based on the upcoming graphic novel that Johnson co-developed. Although Sony is interested in having Johnson appear in the Son of Shaolin film, Deadline reports that idea is being “understandably downplayed” right now, given The Rock’s already-dense workload.
Johnson, who is currently reprising his role as Agent Hobbs for the in-production Fast & Furious 8/Fast 8, has already lined up several projects to work on over the next 1-2 years. That includes the Jumanji reboot (with Johnson’s Central Intelligence costar, Kevin Hart) that starts filming later this year and then, in 2017, Shane Black’s Doc Savage movie – starring Johnson as the film’s namesake or “The world’s first superhero,” as Johnson calls him. Johnson is also slated to play the DC Comics supervillain Black Adam in the DC Extended Universe’s Shazam movie, within the next 2-3 years. On top of all that, The Rock can be heard voicing the demigod Maui in Disney Animation Studios’ fall 2016 release, Moana, and will be appearing in the 2017 Baywatch movie reboot (costarring Zac Efron and Alexandra Daddario).
The Wolf Man, as it were, would offer Johnson an opportunity to play something between a superhero and a supervillain – a “misunderstood,” but nevertheless dangerous being with supernatural powers. In the hands of attached screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners), The Wolf Man should offer the type of physically-demanding, yet multi-faceted, action movie role that Johnson is both good at and generally sticks to. The real question is whether or not Johnson has the time to commit to The Wolf Man, given all his other developing projects (several of which were not even listed above).
For its part, Universal appears determined to secure A-listers to bring most, if not all, of its classic monster characters to life in the rebooted monster film universe. In addition to Boutella (a rising star who costars in Star Trek Beyond this year) and Crowe already being in The Mummy and Johnson being eyed for The Wolf Man, Johnny Depp is reportedly in line to star in Invisible Man, while Angelina Jolie has long been rumored as the top pick for Bride of Frankenstein. So, if Johnson does, in fact, wind up joining the Universal rebooted monster movie ensemble, he should be in some rather famous company.
The Mummy will open in U.S. theaters on June 9th, 2017, followed by Untitled Universal Monster Franchise Films on April 13th, 2018 and February 15th, 2019. We’ll keep you posted on The Wolf Man‘s development.