Are the Universal monsters next in line for the Avengers treatment?
Deseret News archives
It’s only been nine years since Stephen Sommers’ bombastic, overblown “Van Helsing,” but it looks like Universal might be giving its classic stable of monsters another shot at a shared cinematic universe a la “Marvel’s The Avengers.”
In a recent interview with IGN while promoting “Ender’s Game,” prolific writer-producer Roberto Orci (“Transformers,” “Star Trek”) — who is currently developing remakes of “The Mummy” and “Van Helsing” — dropped a hint at some of the potential plans for Universal’s iconic horror characters.
“There’s an interesting thing that could happen at Universal where they have this amazing library of their old monsters and these kinds of heroes, and the idea of trying to create a universe We (Orci and longtime working partner Alex Kurtzman) are kind of imagining updating these kinds of things," Orci said.
After “The Avengers” made more than $1.5 billion, shared cinematic universes have become the big new thing in Hollywood with studios looking to link and expand on whatever properties they can — hence things like Warner Bros.’ upcoming “Batman vs. Superman,” which is predicted to eventually lead into a Justice League movie.
As the writers on Sony’s upcoming “Amazing Spider-Man” sequels, Kurtzman and Orci are no strangers to the phenomenon themselves, at least, if rumors of a Spidey-centric universe are to be believed. And of course, neither are the Universal monsters. Way before “Van Helsing” even, during the classic Universal era, monster movie cross-pollination was a common occurrence, as evidenced by things like “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” and “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein” (with Dracula).
When asked which of the Universal monsters he would most like to work on, Orci responded, “I love Frankenstein just because it's such a twisted, complicated monster. A monster that's not really a monster."
Meanwhile, "Underworld" director Len Wiseman recently backed out of helming “The Mummy," according to Variety.com, leaving the modern, science-based update on the classic story temporarily director-less.
Universal is currently developing a Dracula reboot, “Dracula Untold,” which is set to star Luke Evans (“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”) in a pseudo-historical origin story for the Transylvanian count.
A native of Utah Valley and a devoted cinephile, Jeff Peterson is currently studying humanities and history at Brigham Young University.
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