Universal Taps FAST & FURIOUS Writer To Relaunch The Classic Monsters
Universal Pictures has been sitting on the original Avengers for years: the Universal Monsters! Back in the heyday Universal ran Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula and the Wolf Man through the ringer in solo movies before teaming them up and eventually smashing them all together in giant monster mash movies like House of Frankenstein or House of Dracula. For Monster Kids these movies - cheesy as they are - are works of wonder. Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man still blows my mind, seventy years after it was released.
Now the studio has finally figured this out; while they've been rebooting their properties willy-nilly (The Wolfman, losing a space, and the various The Mummy films), they've finally decided to approach the classic monsters as a whole - as their own universe. And they've tapped Chris Morgan, who wrote the last five Fast & Furious movies, to be the architect of the whole thing. Unfortunately Alex Kurtzman is also along for this particular ride.
Morgan's a great choice, I think, because he was able to so effortlessly weave together some very disaparate F&F sequels into movies that are essentially House of Fast and Furious. He is able to keep each character unique and special while also bouncing them off each other in a way that is absolutely fun. Hopefully he has a real affinity for these monsters, and not just as Halloween decorations.
The first film in the new Universal Monsters Universe is going to be the latest The Mummy reboot (which is like the fourth version, I think - the original black and white series had a reboot right at the beginning as well), which is planned for 2016. How this ties into garbage like Dracula Untold remains to be seen; I'm assuming they're starting with The Mummy to get some distance between a zillion other Dracula iterations. The monsters in the plan include the Gill-Man from Creature From the Black Lagoon, Frankenstein's Monster, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Dracula, and the Invisible Man.
The big questions: when will these films be set? They were always sort of period pieces (good luck figuring out when The Wolf Man is supposed to take place, especially in conjunction with the crossovers), but do audiences want that? And will these movies be good? Universal hasn't been able to get their classic monsters going at all, with The Wolfman and Van Helsing as recent misfires. Will this attempt be any better? And by the way: will they use the classic designs? If you're not using Jack Pierce's designs I don't know why you're making Universal Monster movies at all - almost all of these characters are public domain.