I can’t lie, I’m endlessly curious about the proposed idea of the Universal Studios shared monster universe. Although most signs point to it potentially turning out to be a complete mess, there is so much potential to bring the classic monster movies to life in new and exciting ways that I can’t give up on it all together.
However, things did not get off to a great start last year when, in the wake of the “Avengers-style” monster team up announcement, Universal chairman Donna Langley told The Hollywood Reporter at their executive roundtable that she had intentions of stripping the horror out of the Universal monsters. Her comments read like this:
We don’t have any capes [in our film library]. But what we do have is an incredible legacy and history with the monster characters. We’ve tried over the years to make monster movies — unsuccessfully, actually. So, we took a good, hard look at it, and we settled upon an idea, which is to take it out of the horror genre, put it more in the action-adventure genre and make it present day, bringing these incredibly rich and complex characters into present day and re-imagine them and reintroduce them to a contemporary audience.
This felt like a bit of a knife to the heart for most Universal monster fans, especially since a month earlier Dracula Untold made its debut and served as more of an origin story for the beloved vampire, seeing him as more of a hero than terrifying bloodsucker. And while Dracula Untold may not have caused much of a stir stateside, it made tons of money internationally and is presumed to be included in the new universe that is to be overseen by Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan.
Aside from knowing that Alex Kurtzman’s Mummy movie is expected in 2016 and Prisoners screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski has been tapped to write The Wolf Man, not much else has been confirmed for the alleged franchise. However, Tracking Board is now reporting that Scarlett Johansson has been offered the lead in the studio’s Creature from the Black Lagoon remake. The offer does make sense as Johansson has been actively diving into the genre game as of late. In addition to her role as Black Widow in the Marvel movies as well as her leading films like Lucy and Under The Skin, Johansson is also currently attached to the live-action American adaptation of Ghost in the Shell as well as The Psychopath Test.
I recently re-watched Creature and was surprised to notice how progressive it felt, especially for a 1950’s sci-fi entry. While Richard Carlson’s David Reed character was certainly the film’s protagonist, let’s not forget that the Kay Adams role was a scientist and a woman who was not afraid of exploration and adventure. If updated correctly, I think it could be a very timely story about the environment and provide a strong, positive portrayal of a female scientist with the opportunity to create a terrifying and bad-ass modern creature.
But, perhaps I am overly optimistic. What say you, monster fans? Could you see Johansson leading a new Creature feature? Is there any possibility that this movie could be good? Let’s not forget both John Carpenter’s The Thing and David Cronenberg’s The Fly were remakes. Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
HT: Tracking Board