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Universal is hard at work developing their own cinematic universe using their classic monster movies. Rising out of the collaborative writer's room charged with shaping this movie-verse is Eric Heisserer, who co-wrote the script for a new Van Helsing movie with Jon Spaihts (Passengers). Heisserer is no stranger to the horror genre, and will be providing a new spin on the classic monster hunter. Superhero based blockbusters are the trend right now, but Heisserer has no interested in doing the same thing as everyone else.
Eric Heisserer is going through a big profile boost right now thanks to his Academy Award nominated and downright excellent script for Arrival, but before all that he helped build the new Universal Monster Movie-verse. Speaking with Collider about his take on the new Van Helsing, Heisserer revealed that part of the goal was making his protagonist as de-superpowered as possible.
I can talk about my emotional state of what I've been passionate about or sometimes frustrated by are the number of films where we find an extraordinary character with superhuman abilities that becomes a hero to solve a problem that a normal person cannot solve. I was eager to try and buck that trend and showcase someone who had no extraordinary powers. Just resourcefulness and will and kind of a stubbornness who's able to tackle some of these bigger problems.
Now before you race to the comments section to type "So like Batman, then," Heisserer is aiming for something different than that. He further elaborated that he didn't like pop culture inserting the idea that only a "special" person has the power to make a change. His Van Helsing is an "everyday hero stepping up to the plate and getting things fixed." Fixed in this case means killing supernatural monsters, but you get the idea. That's an interesting take and the idea of an utterly human guy saving the world is refreshing. It's sort of like if John McClane fought vampires instead of thieves.
Universal has a number of upcoming projects based on classic movie monsters in the works, with the hope of eventually tying them all together in their own cinematic universe. The Mummy and Kong: Skull Island will usher in this new Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe when they hit theaters, and will be followed by films like The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, and the all new Van Helsing. We really can't judge how this ambitious project is shaping up until those first entries sets the bar, but I remain cautiously optimistic.
Kong: Skull Island will set things off on March 10, 2017. Stick with CinemaBlend and we'll keep you updated with more information as soon as it becomes available.