The last we heard about the Universal Monster Cinematic Universe is that they would be “action adventure” films though that description is now evolving. I don’t know if it was an oversight in the original announcement or being changed due to the negative press but screenwriter Alex Kurtzman (‘Star Trek Into Darkness’,’Transformers’) is clarifying that the movies will indeed be horror. He is working with Chris Morgan (’47 Ronin’,’Wanted’) on the franchise and Kurtzman is set to direct the 2017 release of ‘The Mummy‘ so if anyone is in the know it would be him.
While talking about his new CBS series ‘Limitless‘ at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, he was asked about the progress of the shared films. This most likely came up as ‘The Mummy’ had been delayed 9 months with a release date changing from June 2016 to March 24th, 2017. On its progress, Kurtzman says that:
“The monster universe is coming together very very quickly, we’re very excited. There will be announcements soon. We have actually started doing a lot of design work, we’re getting scripts in, everything is feeling really really good, so I don’t want to curse it by saying too much to you, but it’s going well.”
Well things are going well. However, the big concern was the initial “action adventure” description that had so many fans worried of a massive change in series direction. Thankfully we can all put down our pitchforks:
“Yeah, I think it’s a fair response and it’s actually not — I think there was some lost in translation quality to the way it was received, because I promise you there will be horror in these movies. It is our life goal to make a horror movie. The tricky part is actually how you combine horror with either adventure or suspense or action and be true to all the genres together. In some way, Mummy, dating all the way back to the Karloff movie, was the first to do that. It was the first to combine horror with — I wouldn’t say action, but certainly a lot of suspense. So it’s more about how you blend the different elements and stay true to each one, but there will definitely be horror in the monster movies…We will hopefully serve it up good and plenty.”
I don’t mind a horror-action flick one bit as long as the horror is still front and center here. One positive idea though is using a writer’s room on crafting this monster filled cinematic universe more along the lines of how television series are run:
“Coming out of television and having come out of writers rooms, the thing that I got out of it, and that I learned so much from the experience of being in the writers room, is that there’s always sort of one or two singular voices to the show, but it’s great when you have a group of writers who are talented in their own right coming together to build a world. We very carefully selected writers who — each of them have their own incredible careers. All of them we admire hugely. Chris Morgan is my partner in this and we all picked people that we’ve worked with before, people that we really liked, people whose work we admired, people that we didn’t know, and really thought long and hard about which writers felt right for each monster. So our goal is to have each movie retain the identity and the individuality of the specific monster, but you’ll see how they start to fit into a larger universe as the movies unravel.”
I think with an overall cinematic universe at stake that the idea of bringing the writers together really will help keep the films both as stand alone films and intertwined where they need to be connected. Its still too early to tell but with his stress on horror being a foundation for the films, I’m still more than willing to check these out.
Are you looking forward to see what Universal does with their monster films? Which classic monster are you most looking forward to see returning to the big screen? Share your thoughts below!
‘The Mummy’ will be released on March 24th, 2017.