Movie News: Universal Monsters to Meet Again?

Written by Jack Bottomley Friday, 18 October 2013

Movie News

In an interview today with IGN, producer Gavin Hood and screenwriter Roberto Orci discussed the possibility of inter-linking the worlds of the monsters and characters that populate Universal cinematic history. Orci stated “There’s an interesting thing that could happen at Universal where they have this amazing library of their old monsters and these kinds of heroes, and the idea of trying to create a universe.”

You’d perhaps be forgiven for immediately seeing this as a copycat manoeuvre, after the immense success Marvel has had moulding their cinematic universe. However history dictates past crossover features (1943s Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman for instance). In fact the very same monsters that live in the dark corridors of Universal studios have often been grouped together in popular culture, from films like The Underworld series, to episodes of Scooby-Doo, to last year's Hotel Transylvania.

Though the screenwriting duo of Orci and Alex Kurtzman have just successfully rebooted Washington Irving’s famed text for TV in the modernised Sleepy Hollow, this is a more ambitious and risky undertaking altogether. In terms of attempting to re-invent/reboot characters/creatures like Van Helsing, Dracula, The Mummy, one has to question just how well it will play. These characters are constantly being given a new coat of paint (or bandages, fur, etc.) and occasionally it works (The Mummy), sometimes it doesn’t (The Wolfman) and that's just in stand-alone instances.

Regardless, amidst all the remakes, the idea is there and Orci is visibly eager about the chance (why not? If audiences bolt to cinemas, this is big money). After addressing the current remakes/revamps they are working on (Van Helsing and The Mummy), Orci stated, “We’re kind of imagining updating these kinds of things. You don’t want to just make remakes when you’re doing a thing, unless it’s worthy of being a remake, but when you have an idea for something that can actually be made different and yet be true to what it was.” Sounds an awful lot like that old “it’s not a remake, it’s a re-imagining” chestnut to us. What do you think though? Are these the dead-on choices to revive Universal’s classic world of monsters (and indeed link them) or is such a notion worthy of a stake to the heart?

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