Screenwriter Eric Heisserer has spoken more about his work on “Van Helsing” and the upcoming Universal Monsters Universe of films.
While promoting the horror film Light’s Out, screenwriter Eric Heisserer has had the opportunity to speak more about his work on the upcoming Van Helsing reboot, which is set in Universal’s upcoming “Monsters Universe” of shared films. Heisserer, when asked about the current status of Van Helsing, after speaking of it earlier with Hitfix in regards to the more Mad Max influenced version, revealed that him and The Mummy scribe Jon Spaihts are actually nearly finished with completing a rewrite for Universal. While the film does not have an announced release date just yet, Heisserer and Spaihts “hope to wrap that up the next month or so.”
“Jon Spaihts and I are working on it together, and we’re in the midst of doing a rewrite for Universal on that. We’re doing one more step as planned. And we hope to wrap that up the next month or so.”
When asked about the relationship with other writers in regards to working on the developing “Monsters Universe” films, Heisserer spoke about how the opportunity they currently have is that it is working like a “TV writers room” in that they get together to discuss each film and the characters, and of how they’ll relate across a series of movies. Previously, Heisserer said that each writer’s goal is to primarily write the best movie they could, without feeling particularly handcuffed to another film. While many have doubted the vision and have questioned if there’s even a sincere brain trust of writers behind the DC Extended Universe, whereas Marvel firmly established a group of writers before 2008’s Iron Man, it appears that Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan have assembled a strong, talented group for the upcoming Universal Monsters movies.
“The neat opportunity there is that it behaves very much as a TV writers’ room, in that you have this cabal of writers that get together and talk about the superstructure of the world, of that universe. And then everybody else’s perspectives through that, of how they want to see each of these characters live. You can’t have them all painted with the same brush.”
With The Mummy out June 9, 2017 and additional Universal Monsters movies scheduled, along with the casting of Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll and Javier Bardem in talks for most likely Frankenstein’s Monster, it’s clear that we will be getting a fully thought out and developed series of monster movies. Eric Heisserer even spoke more about what audiences could expect from the films as one will tie into the other.
“They’re unique characters, the various monsters that are in there, and not all of them are monsters. There’s an interesting sort of separation of the supernatural monsters that are cursed in some way, and then the science monsters that are birthed out of just human invention gone wrong.”
For fans that are worried about the cabal of writers developing the Universal Monsters in a way that deviates too much from the classics, the idea of “various monsters” and the “separation of the supernatural…and the science monsters” rings true to any devoted fan. We have the likes of The Mummy and Dracula that definitely border on more supernatural, whereas Frankenstein’s Monster and Creature from the Black Lagoon are certainly science based. But where does Van Helsing fit into all this? When Heisserer last spoke about the iconic monster hunter from Bram Stoker’s gothic novel, he said that “our inspiration for his behavior and his mannerisms was all in Mad Max [but] it’s early days right now.” He’s now revealed a bit more about the character once played by Edward Van Sloan in 1931’s Dracula.
“Van Helsing for me, who was just my favorite among them because he’s the radical. He’s the guy who says, “We have let more powerful people or figures to try and solve our problems for us. I’m going to kill all of those powerful figures so that we humans solve our own problems.”
If that sounds a bit like Keanu Reeves’ John Wick character to you, you’re on the right track. Heisserer did compare Van Helsing to John Wick in saying “right now he’s the John Wick of that world. You put him in the room with Dracula, or the Wolfman, or Jekyll/Hyde, or any of these people, his first instinct is, “I’m going to murder you.”
So, with all this said, could Van Helsing turn out to be the unifying link between all of these upcoming movies? Does anyone still think that Tom Cruise may actually turn out to be Van Helsing in The Mummy? He’s pulled off Jack Reacher in a remarkable way. Let us know in the comments below!
(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)