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Scary Creatures & Monsters! Eric Heisserer Talks Upcoming “Van Helsing”!

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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)

About the author

Steven Biscotti

Mild mannered reporter, Steven Biscotti, has an avid interest in all things comic books, movies, and music (especially pertaining to Coldplay.) He stands 5'7" tall and prides himself on being the same height as Tom Cruise. Steven's favorite monster movie? "The Mummy (1999)."

Readers Comments (4)

  1. Personally, I’m generally fine with whatever direction the creators of the Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe want to come up with. The potential here is off the chain exciting. I’m a MASSIVE fan of both Marvel and DC movies, but I believe that Universal has the opportunity to blow audiences away with The Mummy and their other monsters if executed correctly. IF The Mummy is FIRE with both audiences and critics this summer, the foundation will be laid to have a cinematic universe that could far exceed what Marvel has achieved.

    I’m just curious on when the heck are we gonna hear what movie monster movie Universal will release in 2018?!!

    Would you put money on hearing about that before or after The Mummy is playing in theaters? My guess is before, unless they push the untitled April 13, 2018 release to another date.

    • I’d agree with you on that, CinemaConFan. It’s very exciting to see a shared universe of Universal Monsters films. After all, Universal was the first studio to do it with the original films. I think The Mummy is going to be a major success and I can’t wait to see how these films start tying together.

      I’m hoping to learn of the next Universal Monsters film soon. I would expect to learn more about casting in the coming months and would expect a start date to happen sometime this year. However, I would not be surprised if dates get shuffled around again.

  2. I hope it’s Van Helsing than The Invisible Man for the next two releases. Just so I can see a modern take on him. But still I don’t people already hating The Mummy for being a reboot and no Fraseier.

    • It will be interesting to see what the next Universal Monster film will be made. I know there’s an expectation for The Invisible Man and The Wolf Man to be the next films. We’ll see, but it would be cool if we see Van Helsing sooner rather than later.

      I think a lot of people don’t realize that The Mummy with Tom Cruise is a reboot of the original 1932 film. Hopefully, with more promotion, audiences will realize that this isn’t a remake/reboot of the 1999 film with Brendan Fraser.


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