New Dates for Universal Monster Movie Films

Screen Rant is reporting that Universal has added a release date as part of their Universal Monster Movie lineup.  The date of February 15th, 2019 has been reserved for “Currently-Untitled Monster Franchise Film” to accompany their release of The Mummy in 2017 and another untitled film in 2018.  Read on below for more details about this shared monster movie universe and speculation on what the film might be.

Since the 40’s when the monster movies were fairly big box office draws, the monster movie sub-genre has been relegated to B-movie status.  Despite numerous reboots of several of their properties, Universal has not been able to produce a successful film to build a franchise around (besides the Brandon Frasier Mummy movies).  Their current plan is to develop a shared universe (much the same way that the Marvel superheros have a shared universe and can cross paths) that would consist of iconic characters like Dracula, the Wolfman, the Invisible Man, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and possibly the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

How are they going to make sure that the current reboot isn’t another failure, Universal is targeting A-list stars for the films and has a writer/director “brain trust” in place to oversee the entire process.  It has long been reported that the reboot for The Mummy will star Tom Cruise and is set for a 2017 release.  Beyond that, here’s what we know so far about the Universal films and which one might take the 2018 and 2019 release dates (via Screen Rant).

“The two architects overseeing the design of the Universal Monster Movie Universe are Fast & Furious franchise writer/producer Chris Morgan and writer/director Alex Kurtzman, while such screenwriters as Noah Hawley (creator of the Fargo TV show), Jon Spaihts (Prometheus), and Eric Heisserer (The Thing (2011)) have either worked on and/or are actively developing scripts for Universal Monster Franchise Films – as they’reofficially known. Universal’s new run of monster movies will kick-off in 2017 with The Mummy, as directed by Kurtzman and written by Spaihts.

Right now, the in-development Monster Franchise Film that seems most likely to take the 2018 release date reserved by Universal is The Invisible Man, a film that has Johnny Depp attached to star as its namesake. As for 2019: the other Monster Franchise Film that seems to be actively making its way down the pipeline right now is Bride of Frankenstein, a movie that was reported to have recruited screenwriter David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Spider-Man), back in December 2015. It has been rumored for months now that Universal wants Angelina Jolie to play the Bride of Frankenstein herself, so if either she or another A-lister signs on for the movie then it may yet wind up on the fast-track for a 2018 release, ahead of Invisible Man.”

There’s two things that remain unclear at this point.  Firstly, there have been rumors that Scarlet Johansson was in talks to star in a remake of The Creature from the Black Lagoon, but the film is never included on the list from Universal for films in production.  If that film does in fact get made, it is assumed that Creature would be part of this shared universe.  Secondly, Dracula Untold was originally intended to kick off this shared universe, but after a lukewarm reception it’s status as part of this universe is in doubt.

What do you think about the direction Universal is taking with their monster properties?  Share your thoughts in the discussion board below.


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