There's big news today on the horror/action front. It seems that the freshly released Dracula Untold is only the start of something much bigger over at Universal.
At the Dracula Untold premiere, producer Alissa Phillips confirmed something that's been speculated for a while now - that Universal intend to revamp the Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe that ruled throughout the 1940s and '50s.
Dracula Untold is part of the revamp, she confirmed:
I was really excited to be part of that. When we started out we weren’t [part of the series], but then we found out that they were going to do it.
Working with Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan who are very much a part of creating The Mummy and the other ones…it’s been fun to be a part of that.
This throws new light on the fact that the release of The Mummy and Van Helsing have been pushed to 2016 - implying that the studio needed more time to map out potential crossover and the universe as a whole. So what about those movies?
The Mummy is directed by Alex Kurtzman, the producer-writer behind The Amazing Spider Man 2, Ender's Game, and Star Trek Into Darkness - so it's fair to say he has some experience in living up to fan expectations.
Plot details and cast have yet to be confirmed, but the rumors are that the film will be set in the present day and will be more action-focused with the horror elements of the story played down.
Kurtzman and his frequent collaborator Roberto Orci are also confirmed to be producing a reboot of Van Helsing, with Tom Cruise set to star. Just who will direct is still a question, but whoever it is, Kurtzman has implied that they'll be of a gritty persuasion:
The Dark Knight was a major corner-turning moment in the way that genre and superhero stories could be told. Really grounded in reality. Really grounded in really cool things. That’s what I’d like to do without sacrificing the fantasy element. [...] We’d love to do that with Van Helsing.
So Van Helsing and The Mummy are in the works, but if Universal have aspirations to create a new universe, they're going to need a few more characters.
The original universe featured only a few protagonists, and most of them have been pulled out time and time again. So who might breathe new life into the franchise?
With the current unending thirst for lycans, it's a fair bet that The Wolfman will feature highly in the prospective universe.
Iconically portrayed by Lon Chaney Jr., and most recently by Benicio del Toro in the 2010 remake, the character is the classic blend of angst, comic campiness and genuine spookiness.
Elizabeth Lavenza/Bride of Frankenstein
A potential goldmine if done right, the fiancee of Frankenstein is a tragic character - beautiful, devoted to a man more interested in monsters, and eventually a victim of his creation. She's too interesting a character to pass up.
(Source: Geek Tyrant)