I don’t know about you, horror friends, but I feel like we’ve been hearing about the resurrection of the Universal Monster universe for some time now. Back in the summer of 2014, Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan had been announced as the men overseeing the ambitious undertaking for the studio. A few months later, Universal chairman Donna Langley told The Hollywood Reporter that the studio had intentions of removing the horror from the monsters and making them more like superheroes. Kurtzman did a bit of damage control earlier this year, assuring Collider, “I promise you there will be horror in these movies. It is our life goal to make a horror movie. The tricky part is actually how you combine horror with either adventure or suspense or action and be true to all the genres together.”
The release date for the modern day re-reboot of The Mummy was delayed from 2016 to the spring of 2017 but aside from that, not much has been confirmed about the proposed monster universe. There were rumors that Scarlett Johansson had been offered Creature from the Black Lagoon, but as far as I can tell, that hasn’t been confirmed as getting an official “go.” We’re still not quite sure if Like Evan’s Dracula Untold will be included as part of the series. Meanwhile, Prisoners screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski had been tapped to write The Wolf Man and FX series Fargo‘s Noah Hawley is onboard the project, too.
This week, Kurtzman and Morgan provided a few quotes to Variety discussing their efforts with the magazine reporting that the overall plan is to have a new monster movie hitting theaters every year. This requires careful attention to universe building, with Kurtzman pointing out, “We’re creating a mythology, so we’re looking at this canon and thinking, ‘What are the rules?’ What can we break and what are the ones that are untouchable?”
While discussing how the monsters will be different than the superheroes that moviegoers have come to expect at the cineplex year after year, Morgan pointed to the dark side of humanity. “Heroes tend to be perfect, but most people in an audience aren’t ever going to know what it’s like to be the smartest, strongest, or fastest person alive. But there’s a darkness inside everybody. And everyone wants to be able to turn a curse into empowerment. The monsters have been in the shadows, and now it’s time to bring them out into the light.”
What do you think, horror fans? Are you looking forward to this shared universe? Which monsters are you looking most forward to seeing? I think it’s worth keeping in mind that a lot of these classic films have great potential for modern day updates and I would argue that Universal got it right with their 1999 version of The Mummy from Stephen Sommers. His Van Helsing movie, well, not so much… Tell us what modern update you’re looking forward to in the comments!
Featured Image Credit: DeviantArtist myAtta-art