Universal Pictures has been trying to get their own cinematic universe off the ground in recent years, but opting instead to use the world of their classic monsters rather than superheroes like everyone else seems to be doing.
The plan got off to a rough start last year though when a press release described the films as “epic action-adventure” rather than “horror” that many were expecting. The hiring of “Transformers” and “Fast & Furious” franchise scribes like Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan did not alleviate those fears.
Appearing at the Television Critics Association Press Tour today, Kurtzman spoke with Collider about how the plan by Universal is progressing:
“The monster universe is coming together very very quickly, we’re very excited. There will be announcements soon. We have actually started doing a lot of design work, we’re getting scripts in, everything is feeling really really good, so I don’t want to curse it by saying too much to you, but it’s going well.”
Asked about the fans bristling to the way it seems ‘horror’ is being forgotten, Kurtzman says he understands the reaction and stresses that horror elements will very much remain in play:
“Yeah, I think it’s a fair response and it’s actually not – I think there was some lost in translation quality to the way it was received, because I promise you there will be horror in these movies. It is our life goal to make a horror movie.
The tricky part is actually how you combine horror with either adventure or suspense or action and be true to all the genres together. In some way, Mummy, dating all the way back to the Karloff movie, was the first to do that. It was the first to combine horror with – I wouldn’t say action, but certainly a lot of suspense.
So it’s more about how you blend the different elements and stay true to each one, but there will definitely be horror in the monster movies…We will hopefully serve it up good and plenty…
Our goal is to have each movie retain the identity and the individuality of the specific monster, but you’ll see how they start to fit into a larger universe as the movies unravel.”
The first film in the plan is the Kurtzman-directed reboot of “The Mummy” which launches early 2017.