Executive producer and creative architect, Chris Morgan, talks “The Mummy” and upcoming Universal Monsters Universe films.
For fans of the classic Universal Monsters, it’s an exciting time right now as The Mummy is about ready to return to the big screen in two months, along with ushering in a “new world of gods and monsters” that will reintroduce the classic monsters to modern day audiences. However, other than The Mummy, scripts being developed for other monsters such as Creature from the Black Lagoon, and mystery release date announcements, there really isn’t that much else that has been added to what we already know. While promoting The Fate of the Furious, which he has produced and written, Chris Morgan elaborated more on the current status of the Universal Monsters Universe films that will release post The Mummy.
Beyond [The Mummy], we’re just developing… we’re kind of locking in on all of the scripts. Right now, it’s Bride of Frankenstein and Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Invisible Man, Van Helsing and The Wolfman. Those things kind of go a pace, and Universal will… we’re in talks to kind of figure out what the next film to come out will be.
So according to Chris Morgan, who is sharing creative architect of the UMU duties with Alex Kurtzman, has acknowledged that we will be getting films of
- Bride of Frankenstein
- Creature from the Black Lagoon
- Invisible Man
- Van Helsing
- The Wolfman
While the structure of the Universal Monsters Universe films has yet to be specified, having five to six films in development keeps to the formula that Marvel Studios started with their Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Warner Bros. has tinkered with with their DC Extended Universe. With that said, Universal Pictures were the first studio to develop a connected universe with their original Universal Monsters films. The original pictures united Frankenstein’s Monster, The Wolfman, Dracula, and even the Invisible Man together.
Outside of this, I’d like to point out that Warner Bros. released Man of Steel in 2013 and the follow up, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, didn’t release until three years after. Batman v Superman would quickly be followed by Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman (out this June), and Justice League (out in November). While Universal has set release dates for two undisclosed Universal Monsters films on April 13, 2018 and February 15, 2019, it is looking more likely that scheduling will have to be readjusted. Unless a Universal Monsters films has been filming covertly like 10 Cloverfield Lane or even the much speculated Cloverfield film God Particle, I would say we will most likely not see a Universal Monsters film release on April 13, 2018. However, February 15, 2019 is still possible. And, let’s not forget how many times Universal changed the release date for The Mummy (principal photography began April 2016). With films only being developed and scripts still being locked in, it would not be unlikely to potentially see a DC Extended Universe scheduling happen with The Mummy releasing June 9th, but not seeing a direct follow up for a year or more. Re-igniting the Universal Monsters library has been a priority for Universal’s Donna Langley and they will surely see to it that a firm universe has been developed to avoid any mistakes and critical/fan issues with their universe/brand.
I’m just kind of, right now, we are producing and overseeing — Alex Kurtzman and I, our company has kind of joined together to oversee all of these films. So we’re really just working with the writers, breaking the stories, [figuring out] ‘What is that first story that we’re going to tell about the Wolfman?’ It’s kind of critical to step in with the right foot, and to give people enough of an homage to the original, to make them complicated and dark characters, but to also kind of address our sentiments and a modern context, and let people feel like they’re seeing something fresh. So it’s kind of the joy of being able to talk monsters all day.
The “joy of being able to talk monsters all day” is something I could truly relate to and it’s Chris Morgan and Alex Kurtzman’s vision of developing real monster movies that pay homage to the originals while remaining inventive that seems so exciting and promising. I’ve been no stranger about my love of SHOWTIME’s Penny Dreadful and their development of a world in which the likes of Dracula, The Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, and the Bride co-exist in Victorian England. From everything I know about The Mummy and some of the details in regards to the Universal Monsters Universe of films being developed, this is a very exciting time if you’re a fan and I would not be managing, writing, and talking “monsters all day” with you if I didn’t believe in it.
(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)