In an age where you can barely swing your Mjolnir without hitting a buff vigilante in spandex, it's becoming harder and harder to escape the ever-growing superhero trend. Hell, it's not even a trend; it's a takeover. From new TV shows to countless movie sequels to unlikely superhero team-ups, DC and Marvel are pulling every creative trick they can think of to produce as many comic book adaptations as possible. And suffice to say, they're absolutely dominating.
But what does this mean for franchises of the non-caped variety? Where does something like Universal's new Monster Universe fit into this scene? Does it even stand a chance at success?
Universal, however, aren't nearly as concerned. Speaking with Collider, The Mummy's producer Chris Morgan says that while "we live in a world of superhero movies now", he's still confident that the key to the Monsterverse's success lies in its differences to what #DCEU and #MCU are doing.
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Finding The Human Behind The Monster
Let's get one thing straight: Morgan is no superhero hater. In fact, he quite enjoys them — but they're not quite his cup of tea:
"I love them and I see them all and I have a great time, but I can’t identify with them as closely as I want to because I know I’ll never be perfect like that."
The perfection Morgan is speaking of is the characters. He says that unlike Marvel and DC's beloved cocky crusaders, the characters in Universal's Monsterverse will be far more "complex":
"I think why people will love these monster films is the they are an homage to the originals, which means you’re gonna get complex characters. And the thing that I think is interesting about monsters is that they are always exaggerations of human attributes or human fears."
He references Wolfman's fear of losing control and hurting those around him; the "very human questions and worries and fears and darkness and cravings" that plague everyone, monster or not.
The Difference Is In The Darkness
Not every Marvel and DC production is pure sunshine and laughter, but it's clear to see the distinction Morgan's trying to make:
"Whereas the monster movies are saying that everybody has darkness in them, everyone has secrets and things they are ashamed of and don’t want to say or something that feels monstrous and dangerous about them. We’re just kind of embracing that and saying, 'That’s ok.'"
It seems like he's trying to distance #TheMummy from its nineties roots, especially considering former wise-cracking lead Brendan Fraser. The 1999 original bears quite a few similarities to many of Marvel's films that audiences have come to know and love: a charming, cocky lead with plenty of action and thrills.
But if the trailer for the new Mummy film is anything to go by — and Morgan insists it is — that's not the kind of movie Universal are interested in reproducing.
At the same time, Morgan stresses that while the Monsterverse will have a decidedly grim tone, Universal is still "mostly interested in just doing good films" — and that means all that typical Tom Cruise action that fans have come to know and love:
"The films are just gonna be interesting, emotional, action-y, largely global sorts of films."
Do you think Universal's Monsterverse will be able to hold its own against Marvel and DC?