ByJon Negroni, writer at
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Jon Negroni

A few months ago, rumors began circulating that Universal would indeed craft inter-connected movies based on beloved monsters from tales such as Frankenstein, The Mummy, and of course, Dracula.

Because why do superheroes get all of the fun? If it worked for Marvel Studios, it ought to work for them, Universal seems to think.

Dracula Untold (set to release next weekend) will be the first of these movies, which Universal says will take place in modern day, centuries after Dracula's story.

This first installment will of course detail the origin of Dracula, and early reviews already claim that setups for future monster movies (and sequels) litter Dracula Untold. And according to Screenrant, the next film in this shared universe will be a reboot of The Mummy, but it won't come out until 2016.

This is where Universal's troubles start. Because many of these monster movies are in the public domain, other studios can (and will) create confusion with their own revamps of these famous characters.

We already got a reimagining of Frankenstein this year with the abysmal I, Frankenstein. And yet another Frankenstein movie titled Victor Frankenstein will release next year under 20th Century Fox.

Meanwhile, fans of Dracula Untold won't get another entry in this new shared universe for two years. Compare that to how Marvel Studios released The Incredible Hulk just a few short months after the first Iron Man.

To be fair, Universal does have something these other studios don't have: Alex Kurtzman, the writer behind Fringe, Star Trek, Transformers, The Amazing Spider-Man and even Van Helsing back in the day.

He'll also be teaming up with Fast and Furious writer Chris Morgan. Kurtzman and Morgan will be overseeing the creative structure of this ambitious project moving forward.

Personally, I love the idea of seeing the Wolfman team up with the Invisible Man to go up against Van Helsing. And I also love the idea of October becoming the go-to month for monster movies again. I just worry about the execution.

And let's be clear. Dracula Untold doesn't necessarily have to be a massive blockbuster success for this to work, but it does have to generate fans to keep itself in the conversation. If the first Iron Man hadn't done that in 2008, the Avengers Initiative wouldn't have made it past Phase I.

Dracula Untold opens in theaters October 10, 2014.


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