Universal's Monster Universe: What We Know So Far
Willie Grace | 11/13/2014, 4:35 p.m. | Updated on 11/13/2014, 4:35 p.m.
Universal’s answer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – the Monster Mash of interconnected horror movies – took a big step forward with the hiring of a brain trust for the studio’s shared world.
THR breaks the news that Universal has hired Noah Hawley (TV’s Fargo), Aaron Guzikowski (Hugh Jackman’s Prisoners) and Ed Solomon (Men In Black) to join Chris Morgan and Alex Kurtzman in a band of screenwriters they collectively are dubbing the "Monster Men." These scripters, according to the trade, will operate like a television-show writer’s room to brainstorm an interlocking monster universe drawing on the popularity of Universal’s classic monster properties.
The earliest seeds of this shared monster universe have been laid. There’s no clear order to how, when and where the movies will be released, though Universal has staked out April 21, 2017 as a slot for one of the following Monster flicks. Let’s take a moment to run through everything that we know about the creatures at the forefront of the movement – and the creators who will attempt to bring them back from the cinematic dead.
THR, at the very least, confirms that Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy will be the first monster movie out of the gate, with a June 24, 2016 release date (where it will compete against Fox’s Independence Day 2). This new Mummy movie will have no connection to the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies. IMDB has a plot summary that says the movie will focus on a team of Navy SEALs on a mission to Iraq who infiltrate a tomb thinking it’s housing terrorists… only to learn it’s housing the corpses of grave robbers. There’s no confirmation that this will be the plot of the movie when it opens, but it does seem like Universal is using Kurtzman’s movie to launch this endeavor. What does that say about Dracula Untold?
We were all under the impression that Dracula Untold would be the start of the Monster Movie Universe at Universal. In fact, there’s a final act "twist" at the end of Gary Shore’s movie that finds Luke Evans’ Count Dracula moving through modern times, under the watch of the menacing Master Vampire (Charles Dance). Here’s where things get murky. Dracula is mentioned as one of the main characters in this developing universe (as he should be). But there is no mention in the THR story about Dracula Untold. And the specific wording calling Alex Kurtzman’s Mummy the "first movie out of the monster universe gate" has us wondering if the bloodsucking fiend is in for yet another reboot in the next few years.
There is a bit more clarity when it comes to the Wolfman, as THR notes that Aaron Guzikowski specifically has been hired to usher the hairy anti-hero back to the big screen. The character has been around for decades, first appearing in 1941 with Lon Chaney Jr. in the howling lead. Benicio Del Toro tried to bring him back in 2010, but this will be the first time in recent memory that Universal will attempt to use the creature in a larger tapestry of tales. Will he have "nards?" We can only hope.