While it seems every studio is interested in establishing their own shared universe of superhero films after the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Universal is taking a slightly different route. They too are very much interested in the world building and crossover possibilities that come with films existing in a shared universe; they're just doing it with monsters, not superheroes.
The classic monster movies - Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, etc. - are what initially put Universal on the map and the studio is now sifting through those old properties to create a new franchise. Taking charge of this undertaking are Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Transformers, Star Trek). Though they've officially split when it comes to future projects, the two are still involved with starting Universal's new slate of updated horror films, the first of which is Dracula Untold, a new origin for the vampire starring Luke Evans. Following that are new versions of The Mummy and Van Helsing, both of which Kurtzman and Orci are producing.
Unfortunately, things aren't going as well as one would hope for at least one of those films. The Wrap is reporting that director Andy Muschetti has left The Mummy reboot, citing creative differences over the film's direction.
Of these new spins on classic horror films, The Mummy is arguably the most important since Universal has already had a very successful reimagining with Stephen Sommers' 1999 reboot and will need to impress audiences fond of that series of films.
Muschetti was brought on to The Mummy reboot when its original director, Len Wiseman (Underworld), left the project. It was a scheduling conflict that forced Wiseman to drop out, but the development that Muschetti has left the film over "creative differences" doesn't bode well.
Based on a script by Jon Spaihts, this take on The Mummy was expected to be much darker, with more horror elements and less action-adventure. The hiring of Muchetti - best known for his sleeper-hit horror film, Mama - seemed to indicate that this was still the intention, but his departure now brings that into question. And indeed, The Wrap is hinting that Universal is now interested in making The Mummy into a family-friendly, action-adventure-type film.
Considering how much that sounds like the The Mummy trilogy starring Brendon Fraser, it seems unlikely that this film would fit within a universe of scarier, darker horror movies. If that shared universe truly is Universal's intention, then the other films might also need to be Pg-13 adventures starring heroes against the monsters. Van Helsing would certainly fit that profile, and perhaps even one day the character could assemble a team of monster hunters in their own crossover event film.
But yet another-adventure movie about The Mummy will need to do much to distinguish itself from what's already a fairly well-received trio of movies (the first two of which were quite successful).
What do you make of Muschetti leaving The Mummy reboot and of the film possibly taking the safer, family-friendly adventure route? What does this mean for Universal's plans of a shared universe between their monster movies? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
The Mummy reboot is currently in development. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more news as it develops.
Source: The Wrap