Universal Monsters (2017 film series)

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The Universal Monsters series is a shared universe of action-adventure/horror films that includes rebooted versions of films from the original series. The franchise is being developed and distributed by Universal Studios, with the installments currently in various stages of development.

In October 2013, Roberto Orci spoke to IGN, hinting that both The Mummy and Van Helsing reboots will have a shared universe.[1] New developments were made in July 2014, when Universal announced that they had tapped Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan to develop all classic movie monsters, which include Frankenstein's Monster, Count Dracula, The Wolf Man, Gill-Man, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, and The Mummy.[2] In December 2014, Universal hired Jay Basu to write an undisclosed film for the shared universe.[3] Universal's chairman, in a November interview, stated that the new films would be more action-adventure based rather than horror, and would be set in a present-day setting in order to "reimagine and reintroduce them to a contemporary audience."[4] In August 2015, Alex Kurtzman announced the new film series will be a mix of horror and other fictional genres.[5]

Main cast[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Producer(s) Status
The Mummy June 9, 2017[6] Alex Kurtzman Jon Spaihts and Christopher McQuarrie Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Chris Morgan and Sean Daniel Post-production
Untitled film April 13, 2018[7] TBA TBA TBA In development
Untitled film February 15, 2019[7] TBA TBA TBA
Untitled Bride of Frankenstein film TBA TBA David Koepp Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan
Untitled Creature from the Black Lagoon film TBA TBA Jeff Pinkner (story)
Will Beall (screenplay)
Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan
Untitled Invisible Man film TBA TBA Ed Solomon Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan
Untitled Van Helsing film TBA TBA Jon Spaihts and Eric Heisserer (story)
Dan Mazeau (screenplay)
Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Chris Morgan
Untitled Wolf Man film TBA TBA Aaron Guzikowski and David Callaham Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan

The Mummy (2017)[edit]

Main article: The Mummy (2017 film)

2,000 years ago, a young princess named Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) was chosen to be the new ruler of Egypt, but her father did not wish to pass on the throne to his daughter unit he had a son, as as such, she killed her father and attempted to claim the throne for herself, but her plan was thwarted and she was buried alive beneath the sends of Egypt, never to be seen again. After her tomb is rediscovered by the American army and opened in modern times, she is once again awakened, bringing with her a malevolent grudge that has grown over millennia and terror that will defy all humanity.

In 2012, Universal announced plans to reboot The Mummy. Jon Spaihts would write the reboot, and Sean Daniel, who produced the previous three Mummy films, would return as producer.[8] In December, it was stated that The Mummy would be a new take on the mythology, returning to its roots as a horror film, and set in the present day.[9] On February 14, 2013, Universal set The Hunger Games writer Billy Ray to write a competitive draft for The Mummy reboot against Spaihts' written script.[10] Len Wiseman was announced as the film's director on September 24, 2012,[11] but left the project in July 2013 due to schedule conflicts.[12] In September, it was reported that Mama director Andrés Muschietti was in talks to direct the film.[13] However, he dropped out in May 2014, due to creative differences.[14] On November 27, 2013, Universal set the film for an April 22, 2016, release.[15] Alex Kurtzman was set to direct the film by the end of the month.[16] The next day, the film's release date was pushed back to June 24, 2016, when Universal announced the April 22 for its new film The Huntsman: Winter's War.[17] In April 2015, the studio announced that reboot has been delayed for March 24, 2017.[18]

In November 2015, Variety reported that Tom Cruise was in talks to star in the reboot.[19] In December 2015, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Sofia Boutella was in talks for the female lead role in the reboot.[20] In January 2016, it was announced that Cruise and Boutella will star in reboot with a June 9, 2017, release date.[21] Annabelle Wallis will appear in the film, as confirmed through set photos. In March 2016, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter reported that Jake Johnson was in talks for a role of as a member of the military.[22][23] Between March 14 and April 15, Marwan Kenzari and Courtney B. Vance were also cast for unspecified roles.[24][25][26] On May 2016, it was announced that Russell Crowe will portray Dr. Henry Jekyll, the main character from Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.[27] The film began production in April 2016 located in Oxford, England.[28]

Future[edit]

In November 2016, Kurtzman stated that the studio has ideas for various rebooted versions of "their monsters", and that he helped the studios' production team with creating updated designs for each of the characters. Each of these individual monsters were stated to be the focus of stand-alone installments first, before any crossovers would occur, with Kurtzman stating: "There might be reasons for this character and that character to come together, because the story tells us that's what the story wants. The story is what drives the choice. And if down the line, there's a big reason to bring them together, then great. But I promise, we're not starting there."[29] In March of 2017, producer Chris Morgan revealed that the studio is in the process of deciding the chronological order of each of the films, and when they will be released.[30]

Untitled Invisible Man film[edit]

In February 2016, it was announced that Johnny Depp will star in The Invisible Man reboot with Ed Solomon writing the film's script.[31][32]

Untitled Wolf Man film[edit]

In November 2014, Universal hired Aaron Guzikowski to write the shared universe's reboot of The Wolf Man and its 2010 remake.[33] In December 2015, the film was announced to be released for March 30, 2018,[34][35] but in February 2016, it was delayed once again for April 13, 2018.[36] In June 2016, Deadline.com reported that Dwayne Johnson may star as the character.[37] In October 2016, it was reported that David Callaham was brought on board to re-write the script.[38]

Untitled Van Helsing film[edit]

On May 1, 2012, Universal signed on with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman a two-year deal, which includes producing a reboot of Van Helsing, which would star Tom Cruise, through their K/O Paper Products banner.[39] In November 2015, Variety reported that Jon Spaihts and Eric Heisserer would write the script for the Van Helsing reboot, and that Cruise had left the film.[40] In July 2016, it was announced that Van Helsing will draw inspiration from George Miller's Mad Max.[41] In November 2016, it was announced that the film will be set in present day.[42] February of 2017, co-screenwriter Heisserer stated that the new take on the character would not have superpowers or abilities, but would be an every-day hero standing up to make a change.[43] Later that same month, he also said that the film will be as scary as possible, partially because a human character would be unnerved surrounded by supernatural creatures.[44] It was later announced that Dan Mazeau will be writing the screenplay for the film.[45]

Untitled Creature from the Black Lagoon film[edit]

In August 2015, a new reboot of Creature from the Black Lagoon was announced, with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 writer Jeff Pinkner being hired to write the film and actress Scarlett Johansson being offered to star in the film.[46][47] In March 2017, screenwriter for the DC Extended Universe Aquaman film, Will Beall, had signed on as screenwriter for the picture.[48]

Untitled Bride of Frankenstein film[edit]

In November 2015, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the studio is looking at Angelina Jolie for the main role in the reboot of Bride of Frankenstein.[49][50] In December 2015, David Koepp was hired to write the script for the shared universe's version of Bride of Frankenstein.[51] In July 2016, it was announced that actor Javier Bardem was in talks to play Frankenstein's monster after passing on the role of Dr. Henry Jekyll in the reboot of The Mummy. Universal has not yet announced in which film the character will make his debut appearance.[52][53] In October 2016, Koepp stated that the script he has written is one of his best. He also revealed that the film will be a liberation story, with the Bride of Frankenstein being very intelligent for this version of the character.[54] In April 2017, Bill Condon began negotiations to direct the film.[55]

Discarded plans[edit]

Main article: Dracula Untold

On October 2014, it was announced that reshoots for Dracula Untold had taken place shortly after the end of production to tie the film into the planned Universal Monsters rebooted franchise.[56] Producer Alissa Phillips hoped that Luke Evans' character, Vlad "the Impaler" Țepeș III / Dracula, might have a cameo in The Mummy and also spoke of a potential sequel to Dracula Untold.[57] In an interview with IGN, director Gary Shore stated, "It's optional for them if they want to use it as that launching pad."[58] The Hollywood Reporter reported that the ending scenes of the film hinted that Dracula Untold could be included into the shared universe,[59] but these connections were subsequently downplayed.[7][60] In September 2016, Evans told LRM Online that there had been talks and conversations on including his character in the shared universe.[61]

In December 2016, Kurtzman confirmed in an interview with Collider that Dracula Untold would not be part of the universe's continuity canon.[62]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tilly, Chris (18 October 2013). "Bob Orci Discusses Van Helsing Reboot". ign.com. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (16 July 2014). "Universal Taps Alex Kurtzman, Chris Morgan To Relaunch Classic Movie Monster Franchises". deadline.com. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Jaafar, Ali (December 1, 2014). "Jay Basu Tapped By Universal To Aid Relaunch Of Classic Monster Movies". Deadline. 
  4. ^ McClintock, Pamela (November 13, 2014). "Executive Roundtable: 6 Studio Heads on China Plans, Superhero Overload, WB Layoffs, 'Fast & Furious' Future". Hollywood Reporter. 
  5. ^ Hayes, Britt (August 10, 2015). "Len Wiseman Wrapping Up Deal To Helm Universal Reboot Of 'The Mummy'". Screen Crush. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ Kroll, Justin (21 January 2016). "Tom Cruise's 'The Mummy' Gets New Release Date". variety.com. 
  7. ^ a b c McClintock, Pamela (May 3, 2016). "Universal Stakes Out Release Date for Third Monster Movie". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 24, 2016. 
  8. ^ Gallagher, Brian (4 April 2012). "'The Mummy' Gets Reboot from 'Prometheus' Writer Jon Spaihts". movieweb.com. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "The Mummy Remake to Be an Epic Horror Movie Set in Present Day America". movieweb.com. 13 December 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
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  17. ^ Perlman, Jake (July 31, 2014). "Universal to release 'The Huntsman' in 2016, pushes back 'The Mummy'". ew.com. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
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  25. ^ Sneider, Jeff (April 15, 2016). "'People v. O.J.' Star Courtney B. Vance Joins Tom Cruise in 'The Mummy'". The Wrap. 
  26. ^ Lussier, Germain (May 4, 2016). "Russell Crowe Could Be Joining the World of Universal Monsters". io9. 
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  44. ^ http://screenrant.com/van-helsing-movie-reboot-writer-scary/?utm_source=SR-FB-P&utm_medium=Social-Distribution&utm_campaign=SR-FB-P&view=lista
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  54. ^ http://www.cinemablend.com/news/1579359/what-the-bride-of-frankenstein-reboot-will-be-about-according-to-the-writer
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