Given the popularity of superhero shared universes, studios are trying to snatch up properties in hopes of mimicking their box office success. So it is easy to see why some would dismiss one of the newest shared universes, Universal’s Classic Monsters universe.
Sure, Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy may be the beginning of a Universal Monsters shared universe with Dr. Jekyll (Russell Crowe) being the rumored thread that ties it all together, but producer Chris Morgan says upcoming remakes of The Wolfman, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, Van Helsing, Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc, won’t be anything like what’s being done over at Marvel Studios or WB’s DC Films. Check out what he had to say below.
Morgan spoke to Collider during the press day for Fate of the Furious. During the interview, the subject of the future of the Universal Monsters shared universe came up, and that’s when he talked about what audiences will love about these films:
“I think why people will love these monster films is that they are an homage to the originals, which means you’re gonna get complex characters. And the thing that I think is interesting about monsters is that they are always exaggerations of human attributes or human fears. For example, Frankenstein was a result of the kind of industrial and scientific revolution—are we playing God? Should we be playing God? And with the Wolfman there’s that worry of what happens if I lose control? What happens if I hurt the things around me that I love? There’s very human questions and worries and fears and darkness and cravings.”
But it is what Morgan said about separating his monster movies shared universe from the superhero shared universe that really says a lot:
“We live in a world of superhero movies now—and by the way, I love them and I see them all and I have a great time, but I can’t identify with them as closely as I want to because I know I’ll never be perfect like that. Whereas the monster movies are saying that everybody has darkness in them, everyone has secrets and things they are ashamed of and don’t want to say or something that feels monstrous and dangerous about them. We’re just kind of embracing that and saying, ‘That’s ok.’ The films are just gonna be interesting, emotional, action-y, largely global sorts of films. I think The Mummy trailer sets up, in a really good way, kind of the tone of these films.”
Sure enough, it seems that Morgan wants to explore the darkness within the characters of these films. But rather than purge it, these films will embrace the monster within all of us, and The Mummy trailer will be the first to do that. He also stresses that these films are being designed to be “standalone sorts of franchises” with “similar things between them.” So don’t expect the Avengers-style ensemble the Universal Monsters shared universe initially sounded like it would be. Still, the thought of a common thread that ties it all together sounds very intriguing.
As for future films, Morgan doesn’t rule out the possibility of a period film. While Universal is overseeing this universe, they just want to release good films and will not force anything that will prevent them from doing that.
Be sure to check out the full interview over at Collider.