Starting with their reboot of the Mummy franchise, Universal is developing a shared monster movie universe.
Deadline reports that Universal has enlisted Alex Kurtzman (producer of both Star Trek films, Cowboys & Aliens, and the Sleepy Hollow TV series) and Chris Morgan (writer of the past four Fast and Furious films and the upcoming seventh installment for Universal) as the leaders of their Monster Cinematic Universe (MCU, if that’s not already taken).
Using Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and more, Universal did well for themselves in the 1920’s-1950’s by making movies based off these characters. While anybody can make a movie based off these guys since they are all in the public domain, Universal’s adaptions of these tales remain the most popular and iconic.
This isn’t the first time Universal has delved into their roots. There was 1979’s “Dracula”, the Brendan Fraser Mummy trilogy, “Van Helsing” starring Hugh Jackman, and 2010’s “The Wolfman”.
This also isn’t the first time Universal brought their monsters together. In “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein”, Universal got Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr. to reprise their roles (Boris Karloff didn’t return as Frankenstein’s monster, Glenn Strange who played the monster in “House of Frankenstein” portrayed the monster here). Vincent Price even reprised his role as the Invisible Man as a voice cameo. You think Marvel was the first to do this?
Universal is releasing “Dracula Untold” this Fall which is supposedly separate from this new shared universe. If the film is a hit, don’t be surprised if Universal makes that the “Man of Steel” of their MCU.
Universal’s shared monster movie universe is expected to start with a reboot of ‘The Mummy” set for April 22, 2016.