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It’s Alive! Universal MONSTERS to Rise Again

From the classic Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein to the not-so-classic Van Helsing, Universal Pictures has a history of pulling their iconic monsters together, with decidedly mixed results. But now, in the age of Avengers, it seems the studio feels ready to give it another shot, using the mighty Marvel model.

Alex Kurtzman, one half of the recently disbanded Orci/Kurtzman (Star Trek Into Darkness, Amazing Spider-Man 2) is teaming up with fellow writer/producer Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious 3-7) to design a series of interconnected monster movies that’ll culminate in an all-star team-up flick.

The plan is to give some of Universal’s classic creatures solo films, with others appearing as secondary characters. The Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s monster, and Dracula are pretty much locks at this point. A Mummy movie is already planned, Creature From the Black Lagoon has been in development for years now, and Tom Cruise was recently attached to a Van Helsing do-over. Some potential names that could make an appearance include: the Invisible Man, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Phantom of the Opera, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Cat People, The Werewolf of London, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and pretty much any character from the “Son of–“, “House of–“, or “Ghost of–” sequels and spin-offs.

Beyond that, details are scarce but we here at Nerdist did dig up these two tantalizing tidbits from a trustworthy source: the monsters will be positioned as tragic heroes, so that when they team up, they’ll do so heroically. Sort of like the League of Extraordinary Gentleman or Penny Dreadful. And despite potential Frankenstein director Guillermo del Toro’s idea that the films should all be period pieces, we’re hearing they’ll be set in the modern day – starting with 2016’s The Mummy.

Pretty interesting for monster fans, though plenty stressful too as we’ve seen how wrong these monster rallies can go! What do you guys think? Is it too off-base to turn these monsters into heroes, or is anything fair game so long as it gets these dusty old dudes back on the big screen?

Image: Universal Studios

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  1. Andre says:

    In terms of setting I would have taken the root taken by most comic books, world war II. Sure it’s camp, but it works in terms of story; the nazis were in egypt, they were known to steal treasures, they excavate a tomb, releasing the mummy, after the whole murderous rage phase, as a Pharaoh he feels the need to protect his subjects from these invading armies; Legend says, Vlad Tepes, the ruler the name dracula comes, would rise from his grave to fight the enemies of his countries, what better enemies to rise from the grave for then nazis; the wolfman, the soldier that occidentally kills the gipsy woman’s daughter and gets cursed for it; the invisible man an experiment to crate the perfect spy; at a large stretch quasimodo could be a resistance fighter, protecting notredame from being ransacked, but also taking into “sanctuary” all those that needed protection; and Frankenstein could be an experiment by the nazis (no doubt inspired by their run in with the mummy), most likely, given his natural motivation to find companions and his hated for the nazis in this scenario, the one that tracks down the other members and forms the team. Done right you have plenty of space for dramatic moments and character development while also having all the action and horror moments the audiences want, just don’t let michael bay near it

  2. Jesse Acosta says:

    These need to be period pieces. They also can’t be silly and stupid like that Van Helsing movie. 

  3. Jay Brake says:

    No “cheese” please.  Take them seriously and darkly…but not too much.  They are classics and should be honored as such.  I am not sure of the “modern day” setting.  That sounds to me like a formulaic revisioning doomed to triteness and failure.   “I, Frankenstein” comes to mind.  I appreciated “League of Extraordinary Gentleman” but I could see how it could have been better.  Make this better, please!

  4. Nolando says:

    Modern day setting? The allure of these films is their historical backdrops. Pooey to contemporaneity. C’mon Universal…get with the program!

  5. Steve says:

    I’ve been wanting a non-musical Phantom of the Opera for a long time! (I love the musical don’t get me wrong) But I really want a dark film with lots of suspense. Not gory though. And he better not get killed in it….

  6. Josh says:

    Im going to say what were all thinking. George Clooney as The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Discuss.

  7. Joe says:

    Monster Squad 2?

  8. Dough says:

    I had hoped for so long that they would do this! While I love the originals since they are classics, they may not translate too well for some future generations and I want so bad to show these to my daughter as she grows up. And I’m not a big fan of the “team-up” idea, but it could be truly awesome if its done right.