Universal Pictures is not giving up on their plans for a cinematic universe centered around their lineup of classic monsters. The idea was first announced back in 2013, and while we haven't really seen much in terms of results just yet, there are gears still turning behind the scenes. Proof positive of that is the news that the new adaptation of The Creature From The Black Lagoon has just hired a new screenwriter - specifically one who helped bring The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to life.
The Tracking Board has the news on this development, saying that Jeff Pinkner has been hired by Universal to rewrite the existing script for The Creature From The Black Lagoon. He will presumably be working from the original draft by Dave Kajganich (who was actually first hired on the project in 2012), though it's not clear at this point exactly how much material his take on the monster story will deviate from what's already been submitted.
For those not familiar with the Jack Arnold-directed original from 1954, The Creature From The Black Lagoon begins centered on a scientific expedition that finds a team of researchers deep in the heart of the Amazon jungle. It is there that they discover a horrific creature that appears to be half-man and half-fish, but what makes matters worse is that this creature winds up having a hardcore crush one one of the female scientists in the group. A few months ago it was reported that the studio offered a deal to Scarlett Johansson for this key part - though at this time it's unclear whether or not she will accept the gig.
Jeff Pinkner's last big screen credit was The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - which he scripted with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci - but most of his Hollywood writing experience has actually been on the small screen. Before starting his features career, he previously wrote on shows like Alias, Lost and Fringe. The Universal Monsters franchise isn't the only cinematic universe he's helping to build now, though, as he is part of the massive team of writers that Paramount Pictures has hired to try and steer the Transformers franchise in a better direction. He is reportedly co-writing Transformers 5 with Akiva Goldsman - who is also overseeing The Creature From The Black Lagoon remake at Universal.
Unlike Marvel Studios or Warner Bros., Universal has not yet laid out their big plans for their monster universe, so it's unclear exactly when they are hoping to have The Creature From The Black Lagoon in theaters. That being said, it does sound like the film is now in active development, so it could be happening sooner rather than later. Whether that will translate to "two years from now" or "five years from now" remains a mystery.
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