Monsters is a low-budget indie extraterrestrial invasion drama that put filmmaker Gareth Edwards' name on the map, leading to him securing a job as director on the Hollywood Godzilla franchise reboot (which began principal photography this month).
Shooting has commenced on the followup to Edwards' breakout project, which is going under the title Monsters: Dark Continent. Edwards never intended to write and/or direct either the sequel or any potential spinoffs, but is still executive producing the venture alongside producer-distributor Vertigo Films (which was also a backer on the original movie) and management/production company 42.
The personnel lineup has changed, since the last time we reported on the Monsters sequel nearly two years ago. Directing duties are no longer being handled by Jesse Atlas and Brent Bonacorso (the short "Now and Nowhere"), but have gone to first-time feature helmer Tom Green instead. Similarly, the script is written by Jay Basu - whose writing credits include the drama Song of Songs and found-footage movie The Dinosaur Project - and now reads as something other than a Heart of Darkness-esque story with aliens.
Rather, Screen Daily describes Monsters: Dark Continent as follows:
Infected Zones [where the 'Monsters' reside] have spread across the world. While US military try to wipe out the monsters, they soon realize they face resistance from a number of corners.
Green is shooting the majority of Monsters: Dark Continent in Jordan (plus one week of filming in Detroit), working alongside a cast that includes Joe Dempsie (who plays Gendry on Game of Thrones), Sam Keeley (What Richard Did) and Johnny Harris, a character actor who had small roles in films like Atonement, War Horse and Snow White and the Huntsman.
Here's a statement from producer Allan Niblo on the sequel:
“Monsters: Dark Continent is a sci-fi action film that remains true to the artistry and intelligence of its prequel Monsters as well as providing the excitement, thrills and set pieces of a genre film. We’re very excited to see Tom Green’s vision unfold."
Edwards' original movie is a quiet human relationship drama, explored through the lens of a sci-fi invasion story. There's enough material left untouched after the first movie to justify a more spectacle-heavy sequel - which should be welcome by those who liked the world Edwards envisioned, but not his filmmaking approach.
And yet... there are certain parallels that exist between Monsters: Dark Continent and The Last Exorcism Part II - such as the unknown filmmaking talent and lack of an obvious narrative direction to take - which lead me to worry about this being another instance where a simple and self-enclosed story might've been better left alone, rather that carried forward (even in an indirect manner, that is).
How does Monsters: Dark Continent sound to YOU? Let us know what you think in the comments section!
Source: Screen Daily