BREAKING MOVIE NEWS
With the success of Marvel's Cinematic Universe, many studios are creating their own shared worlds. Universal plans to do the same with their upcoming slate of monster movies, but here's how their plan differs from the Marvel roadmap.
While Warner Bros. and Disney’s Marvel Studios continue expanding their shared cinematic worlds, Universal is pushing back theirs. Following the release date announcements for Fast and Furious 8 and the two Fifty Shades of Grey sequels, the studio has rescheduled the start of its monster movie-verse by nine months.
The earliest seeds of this shared monster universe have been laid. Let’s take a moment to run through everything that we know about the creatures at the forefront of the movement – and the creators who will attempt to bring them back from the cinematic dead.
There seems to be some disagreement as to what angle the film will pursue. Originally the talk was centered on bringing the character and the legend back to its roots. But when Muschetti pitched a more horror-specific angle, suddenly Universal opted for a more family-friendly “four-quadrant blockbuster” angle.
Universal is ready to make a hard push with their lineup of classic monsters - Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, Creature Of The Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, Bride Of Frankenstein, and The Mummy - and are planning a series of films that will all be linked together within a cohesive world. Shepherding this experiment will be Chris Morgan and Alex Kurtzman, which isn't a big surprise if you know the two writer's backgrounds.
After director Len Wiseman dropped the project because of schedule that was too busy, Universal Pictures' reboot of The Mummy franchise seemed to be back on track when the production hired Mama filmmaker Andres Muschietti. Unfortunately for the studio, it now looks like things are once again going back to square one, as Muschietti has decided to drop off the film.
In the ever-growing trend of setting distant theatrical release dates only to change them several times along the way, Universal has updated its upcoming schedule, and its biggest move best reflects how the studio feels about Star Wars: Episode VII nabbing the December 18, 2015. Duncan Jones’ upcoming big budget video game adaptation Warcraft has been pushed from that pre-Christmas date back to March 11, 2016.
Of course, The Mummy and Van Helsing (who originates from the story of Dracula) are only two potential movies that could come out of Universal's library of monsters. The studio's other classics include Frankenstein, The Phantom of the Opera, The Invisible Man, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Wolf Man.
Few details are currently known about the film, which is being produced by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Sean Daniel, but according sources Jon Spaihts' script tells the legend of the Mummy in modern times. This will differentiate it from all of the previous titles in the franchise, which were all set back in the 1920s.
The project has been seen as Universal hitting the restart button on The Mummy trilogy that starred Brendan Fraiser and produced three fairly successful box office hits (grossing nearly $460 million domestically all together), but apparently the film will be going a much different route than the last three movies did.
Vulture's insider suggests that the two writers will eventually wind up working together to bang out a workable version of the script, with one of them as a "structure and body man" and one as a "character and dialogue man"-- which sounds like a nightmarish way to work together, but who knows
The last attempts, as you no doubt remember, were credited to director Stephen Sommers, with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz in the leads. But Wiseman already has figured out one way to distance his property from the Mummy movies of the past.
Only a little more than a month after the release of his version of Total Recall, Len Wiseman is getting ready to get back into the reboot/remake game. The filmmaker is reportedly now in talks with Universal Pictures to direct The Mummy, the studio's attempt to restart the massively successful adventure franchise that began in 1999.
Van Helsing, the 2004 action film starring Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale, is a truly terrible movie. In addition to being remarkably stupid, the performances in the movie are terrible and the effects were godawful. It was clear that the studio wanted to make a franchise out of the monster-killing hero, but obviously that never took off. Now they're hoping to have better luck with a brand new star and a pair of hot producers.
Beginning in 1999, The Mummy franchise extended to two sequels - The Mummy Returns and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - as well as a spin-off The Scorpion King. The films followed Richard 'Rick' O'Connell (Fraser), a globetrotting archeologist, as he fought against ancient demons. The original film, and its first sequel, were directed by Stephen Sommers.