With school back in session, we thought now would be an appropriate time to take another look back on the cast of the Monsters Universe. Here’s your 101 to every major player involved, and those rumored to be starring in later pictures.
*Some of this previously appeared in “Rounding Out The Universal Monsters Universe Cast” on February 21, 2016.
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. Frankenstein’s Monster
Announced back on July 11, 2016, the current situation behind Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s Monster is the possibility that he will be included in other Universal Monsters films either before a solo picture or in lieu of a standalone film. The same applies for Russell Crowe’s Dr. Henry Jekyll. There are no solid plots or plans (at least revealed to us) in regards to a standalone “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” film.
III. Victor Frankenstein
Around the time of the earliest reports of Russell Crowe joining the Monsters Universe as Dr. Jekyll, we also learned that Tom Hardy, Eddie Redmayne, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Javier Bardem were also approached. While Crowe went on to being cast as Jekyll and Bardem went on to being Frankenstein’s Monster, there was never anything else said in regards to Hardy, Redmayne, and/or Levitt. We’ve heard various rumors from a few sources that there’s still a possibility for Tom Hardy, Eddie Redmayne, and Joseph Gordon Levitt to appear in a later Monsters Universe film, but there hasn’t been anything conclusive revealed to us as to who they may appear as. If we were to venture a guess, it’d be for the role of Victor Frankenstein.
If this all turns out, remember you heard it here first.
IV. 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?
V. The Wolf Man
While there have been no official comments regarding Dwayne Johnson’s involvement with the upcoming Monsters Universe, there are a few things worth considering. Some time before Russell Crowe was finally cast as Dr. Henry Jekyll in 2017’s The Mummy, Universal was considering the likes of Tom Hardy and Javier Bardem but that didn’t work out. The role eventually went to Crowe and it is expected that his character will appear across films. It’s also worth taking note of Dwayne Johnson’s successful business relationship with Universal Studios. While the actor has countless projects lined up, he’s already become a major staple in their Fast and Furious franchise, along with having started his film career in the 2001 sequel The Mummy Returns. Let’s not forget that one of the creative architects and producers of the Monsters Universe is Chris Morgan, the man behind Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7, and Fast 8. It should not be surprising that Dwayne Johnson has been named as a possible lead for The Wolf Man as he has worked alongside Chris Morgan for quite a few years now.
There’s a certain weight that Dwayne Johnson brings to a project in not only the box office factor, but in entertainment value, and production as well. Not unlike Tom Cruise, who is headlining but not producing The Mummy, Johnson would most likely serve in a similar capacity. It would not be surprising if Dwayne Johnson and his ex-wife and producing partner Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks Productions would be involved with Garcia enjoying a producing credit on The Wolf Man. It’s really all too early to speculate as the report of Dwayne Johnson being courted for The Wolf Man has only just come out, but still fun regardless.
Aaron Guzikowski, the writer of 2013’s Prisoners, will be serving as screenwriter of The Wolf Manwith Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan producing. Currently there has yet to be a release date specified.
VI. 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.
VII. The Invisible Man
The news of Johnny Depp being cast as The Invisible Man released on February 11, 2016. It has not been specified if he will be playing Dr. Jack Griffin or a variation of the character, but it’s believed he will.
Depp excels in these types of movies, being a regular under Tim Burton who specializes in horror and the macabre. He’s such a talented, versatile actor with roles ranging from Edward Scissorhands, Ichabod Crane, and Captain Jack Sparrow. Depp will be great certainly be great in The Invisible Man.
As of right now, there has not been any word of a director or specific release date regarding the film.
It has been reported by Justin Kroll and corroborated by one of our sources that the Gary Shore directed picture starring Luke Evans will not be a part of the upcoming Monsters Universe of films. You could check out what Justin Kroll of Variety had to say below:
Also enjoyed @danceremix take on the Universal Monster Universe; MUMMY is launching universe not DRACULA UNTOLD; that film not a part of it
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) July 18, 2016
While this will certainly come as a disappointment to many that were holding out for a Dracula Untold sequel or seeing Luke Evans return as Universal’s most famous of monsters, sadly hopes of seeing this version included in the universe filled with the likes of Sofia Boutella as The Mummyand Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man are as dead as a vampire with a stake through the heart.
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.
IX. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
After initial speculation that Academy Award winner Russell Crowe would be joining the cast of The Mummy in the role of Dr. Henry Jekyll, on May 7th this would be confirmed by not only The Hollywood Reporter but by the actor himself. Interestingly, multiple reports had Crowe as either a Dr. Jekyll like character or as the iconic Robert Louis Stevenson character later adapted by Universal; this would all be clarified as soon as the actor took to Twitter and stated rather clearly that he’d be playing the famous doctor.
While promoting his upcoming film The Nice Guys, Russell Crowe revealed a little more about the nature of his role, working opposite Tom Cruise, and what Dr. Jekyll means going forward for Universal to Entertainment Tonight:
“I think we have a very simple and direct connection. I always had a great deal of respect for what he does and I’m really looking forward to being in front of a camera with him. I said to him a long time ago — when he asked me to do a particular movie — I said to him, ‘I don’t really want to be in a film where we’re on different sides — you’re the good guy, I’m the bad guy kind of thing.’ This project, it’s quite complex in terms of what our relationship really is. There could be an entire universe that comes out of what these monsters are and it’s all contemporary. They’re not period films, so I’m quite looking forward to being Dr. Henry Jekyll.”
Russell Crowe had also previously gone on to say that The Mummy is “is kind of more designed to seriously scare the s— out of you.”
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)