Academy Award nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer talks Van Helsing, supernatural creatures, and making it “scary as possible.”
While promoting the February 14th Blu-ray release of Arrival, the Academy Award nominated writer, Eric Heisserer, spoke more about his involvement with the Universal Monsters Universe films. Heisserer, the writer behind The Thing and Lights Out, was originally brought on board the writers room assembled by executive producers and creative architects, Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, to help develop the rules and world of gods and monsters. While Heisserer has previously spoken about working alongside other writers in developing this upcoming cinematic universe, he went on to reveal a little more in an interview with Adam Chitwood of Collider:
“We all came in without putting a flag down on any of those certain monsters or films, just talking about how we saw the world working and what we wanted to explore. Sometimes we’d talk about themes, and Jon [Spaihts] and I just found ourselves kind of on the same page in terms of what we wanted to see Van Helsing explore. It was a natural team-up, I think. It was just a conclusion that we all reached around the table that he and I would work on that together.”
Previously, Eric Heisserer regarded this new interpretation of Van Helsing as likening him more towards Keanu Reeve’s John Wick. While this could still very well change, the last Heisserer said was “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.” Van Helsing has also been likened to Mad Max, but while some fans are worried over the Monsters Universe tone being more Universal Monsters by way of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they could not be more wrong. Taking place in a contemporary setting, just like Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy, Heisserer added, “I can talk about my emotional state of what I’ve been passionate about or sometimes frustrated by are the number of films where we find an extraordinary character with superhuman abilities that becomes a hero to solve a problem that a normal person cannot solve. And I was eager to try and buck that trend and showcase someone who had no extraordinary powers, just resourcefulness and will and kind of a stubbornness who’s able to tackle some of these bigger problems. Because I don’t like the idea that we’re infusing our public and our pop culture with the idea that only super people can solve the world’s problems. I like the idea of the everyday hero stepping up to the plate and getting things fixed.”
Interestingly, Tom Cruise was previously attached to star and headline Van Helsing. While he is the lead in The Mummy, playing “amoral tough guy” Nick Morton, there is still some speculation that he may be playing the monster hunter created by Bram Stoker.
With The Mummy releasing this June, we could expect to learn more about the currently developing Universal Monsters Universe films in the coming months. As always, stay tuned to UMU for the latest news.
(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)