Universal Pictures wants in on the unified franchises game being perfected by the well-oiled machine that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe and attempted by Warner Brothers’ DC Comics lineup.
But instead of acquiring a new superhero/comic book property, Universal is reaching back to some classics. It’s being reported that the studio has decided to reboot their Universal Classic Monsters, the legendary line-up of monster movies including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, and The Creature From the Black Lagoon.
According to reports, Universal is dedicating “renewed resources and an unprecedented, far-reaching commitment” to rebooting their movie monsters, and the plan is to “expand and unify” the monsters and their stories in a similar way to what Marvel has done with their recent titles, each phase capped off by an Avengers movie, and WB is hoping to do with the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Sony is also planning something similar with their planned Sinister Six movie.
The project is being developed by Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan. Kurtzman is best known for his work with Roberto Orci—who’s currently set to directStar Trek 3—on numerous blockbuster franchises such as Transformers, Star Trek, and The Amazing Spider-Man. Morgan has been a writer on the Fast and Furious series since Tokyo Drift, and has also worked on the screenplays for Cellular, Wanted, and 47 Ronin.
The first movie in line is one that’s been rebooted before, and that’s been planned for a while now, The Mummy, which already has an April 22, 2016 release date set. The title was of course previously turned into the franchise starring Brendan Fraser. Whatever had been planned for the upcoming reboot (along with any other titles based on the monsters that were being developed prior to this decision) will be reworked to fit the new interconnected gameplan.
Although the new Mummy movie has a release date, all of these new plans are still in early development, so it’s unclear how long it will take to figure out the perfect way to bring these iconic monsters together. One thing that’s safe to assume is that Universal won’t be grabbing the rights to remake The Monster Squad as their cumulative centerpiece…though let’s face it, that’s what we all pictured in our heads reading this news.