Aside from the juggernaut that is Disney Pictures, most of the major studios have floundered this year with one major exception – Universal Pictures. Thanks to an eclectic slate that even it considers a very lucky stroke of fortune, the studio is having a record year and isn’t slowing down on their plans moving forward.
One of those plans is its ambitious desire to reinvent its classic monsters for a new generation with an interconnected franchise treatment. Writer/producers Alex Kurtzman (“Star Trek”) and Chris Morgan (“Furious 7”) are the brains behind the new initiative which kicks off with Kurtzman’s own “The Mummy” reboot and will continue with films that will incorporate Dracula, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein and more into the same on-screen universe.
Those involved have now spoken some more about their plans, Universal chairman Donna Langley telling Variety that: “The characters will interact with each other across movies… we’re incubating it at the moment, and we’re taking the time to get it right.”
The plan is for a new monster film every year starting with the ‘Mummy’ reboot in 2017 and followed by Dracula, Van Helsing, Bride of Frankenstein and the Wolfman films. Storyboard artists and designers are creating the look and feel of the various productions, and each of the ten writers working on the project has been assigned a monster to oversee.
Kurtzman says: “We’re creating a mythology, so we’re looking at this canon and thinking what are the rules?, what can we break and what are the ones that are untouchable?. The idea is that we have a deep bench of brains to consult with about how their monster fits into our world as we go forward.”