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James Wan Developing New Universal Monsters Film

With the success of Universal and Blumhouse’s The Invisible Man—it will likely have made $50 million domestic soon on a mere $7 million dollar budget—it looks like the studio is looking to reboot another one of their classic monsters. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal is developing a new monster film from producer James Wan. The man behind Saw, The Conjuring, and Insidious will be writing the as-yet untitled film with Supernatural’s Robbie Thompson. He won’t be directing this one however, just producing.

We don’t know which of the classic monsters it’s going to be just yet. But according to the original report, this new movie will “takes its cues from Universal’s classic monster legacy and shines it through a modern prism. With shades of Disturbia, the story will focus on a group of teens who discover that a neighbor is building a monster in his basement.” Of course, the monster will get loose and no doubt terrorize the neighborhood. Sure sounds like a modern-day Frankenstein to me.

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Universal Pictures

Along with Blumhouse, James Wan’s Atomic Monster production company has become the home of the best modern studio horror. Wan first made a name for himself directing Saw in 2004, launching that franchise into the stratosphere. He then left the so-called “torture porn” genre behind, and in the past decade reinvented the classic supernatural thriller. Movies like Insidious and The Conjuring, both of which launched ongoing franchises. Although he’s gone on to direct big budget action fare like Aquaman and Furious 7, he recently announced he’s returning to his horror roots with this summer’s Malignant.

This confirms that Universal has pretty much totally abandoned its notion of a “Dark Universe” of interconnected films based on their classic monsters. They have several different projects announced over the past few months, all based around their now 90-year old IP. But they are all coming from different directors with different visions. And it’s said that being interconnected is not a priority for the studio at all.

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New Line Cinema 

Among these planned classic monster films is one from Rocketman’s Dexter Fletcher, who is teaming up with The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman for a film centered around Dracula’s loyal bug-eating lackey Renfield. Paul Feig meanwhile, is looking to do a monster mash-up called Dark Army. That one sounds like it’s in the vein of the ’80s classic Monster Squad. And Elizabeth Banks has been announced as directing The Invisible Woman. Whether or not that’s meant to tie-in to The Invisible Man remains a mystery, but it would seem strange if it isn’t at all given that latter’s great success. Despite their insistence that these movies remain in their own worlds.

And for all of you fans of the classic Universal Monsters of the golden age of Hollywood? Universal has got you covered too. In a few years, Universal will have a Universal Monsters themed land in their upcoming Epic Universe theme park in Orlando, Florida. If we could buy tickets to that place already, we totally would.

Featured Image: Warner Brothers