With the Universal Monsters making a theatrical comeback, who are the talented actors and actresses we could expect to see bring back the classic monsters like “The Mummy” and “The Invisible Man”?
While we’re finally moving ahead on the Universal Monsters Universe with production set to begin on The Mummy and The Invisible Man being announced, one of the most fun aspects of any burgeoning shared film universe is the speculation over which actors and actresses will appear in each respective film. Starting properly in 2008 with Marvel’s Iron Man and moving forward to this November’s Doctor Strange, it’s always exciting to learn about film casts. With Universal developing their Universal Monsters Universe of connected films, like Marvel, we will soon have a third film universe to watch closely as contracts are negotiated and press releases are made.
The Universal Studios monster movies are, in many ways, the first set of films ever to propose the idea of inter-connectivity between stories, films, and cast. Be it Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man or one of my favorites, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (with a hilarious Invisible Man/Vincent Price cameo), one could safely argue that Universal did it first. It’s only right that in 2017 they begin anew with a series of shared films that will reintroduce audiences to some of the most iconic, beloved, and feared of film/literary characters.
The Mummy stars Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella. The Invisible Man stars Johnny Depp as the titular character, but what of the other movies? We have Frankenstein, his Bride, the Wolf Man, and even the Creature! Who will bring to life those characters?
Rolling out a film once a year with The Mummy in 2017 and what now seems to be The Wolf Man in 2018, there has been some talk over the potential casts of upcoming Universal Monsters Universe films. Let’s take a look.
I. Bride of Frankenstein
Other than screenwriter David Koepp attached, this film does not yet have a release date, cast, or director. While it is on the docket, fans of the Bride may have to wait just a little bit longer to see her return to the big screen. However, according to Collider, Angelina Jolie is the most likely and most wanted (no pun intended) candidate for Bride of Frankenstein.
As word has it, Universal chose to back Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s By The Sea, even with them losing money on the lackluster film in an effort to win her over to their developing Universal Monsters movies. Apparently, Jolie wasn’t “too eager to sign on”, but because of By The Sea, she may eventually consider making Bride of Frankenstein.
It’s an interesting thought to consider and seems likely considering the unspoken politics behind nearly every movie. Having someone like Angelina Jolie attached to Bride of Frankenstein seems like a terrific pairing, especially if she not only stars, but also directs. We’ve seen her in movies like Beowulf and Maleficent so it would be pretty wild to see her as the Bride. We could only hope!
II. Creature from the Black Lagoon
Reported as an exclusive in April 2015, The Tracking Board, stated that Universal is eyeing Scarlett Johansson to star in the long in development remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon. All that’s said is that she’s “being courted for the lead role” so whether that would see her appear as the main heroic lead, a variation of Julia Adams original role, or the actual Creature, we cant say.
But let’s consider this, with Angelina Jolie potentially as the Bride, Sofia Boutella as the Mummy, is it too far fetched to see Scarlett Johansson as the Creature? It could very well be possible that Universal is eyeing a more female dominant monsters universe with various iconic, smart, and powerful actresses bringing them to life.
This is just speculation on my part, but it is something worth considering. However, I’d personally rather see Johansson as an adventurer that has to fight the Creature. More so than her as the Creature. What do you think?
III. The Mummy
Sofia Boutella, a classically trained dancer recognizable as a back-up for Madonna during the Confessions Tour and Sticky and Sweet Tour, along with being a model in several Nike ads, starred in a breakout role in this past year’s Kingsman film, along with playing an undisclosed character in 2016’s Star Trek Beyond. The 33 year old Algerian dancer/model/actress was cast as the Mummy. It’ll be very interesting to see how the studio and her approach to the role as we’ve seen this character played by Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Christopher Lee to name a few.
Boutella is making a name for herself as someone who not only performs a great deal of her own stunts (much like Tom Cruise), but also someone who plays characters with some identifying quirk. She’s practically unrecognizable in her role in Star Trek Beyond and as Gazelle, an amputee henchwoman with bladed prosthetic legs in Kingsman.
IV. The Mummy
Tom Cruise. Need we say more? He’s set to star in 2017’s The Mummy and while we don’t know much about who he’ll play, it’s a safe bet that it’ll be the lead hero of some sort. Maybe even possibly Van Helsing, as he was once attached to the role. Van Helsing, along with Creature from the Black Lagoon and Bride of Frankenstein are in development.
If we go by Wikipedia, Dracula Untold is listed alongside the in development Universal Monsters Universe films. The 2014 film, starring Luke Evans as Vlad Tepes aka Dracula, was originally seen as the movie to launch their upcoming films in the way 2008’s Iron Man did for Marvel. Due to a lukewarm response, it’s likely that Dracula Untold is seen more as the Green Lantern of the shared films to Universal – a false start.
But, due to a clever ending featuring Luke Evans as Dracula in modern day, along with Charles Dance as Master Vampire, it’s possible they could retrofit the film into the new slate of movies.
I like Luke Evans and I’d have no qualms about this being a part of the Universal Monsters Universe.
So what are your thoughts on the developing Universal Monsters Universe? Do you like the direction it’s heading in? Are there any actors/actresses that you’d like to see appear? Let us know in the comments!
(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)