The Shape of Water producer J. Miles Dale says he and director Guillermo del Toro are intrigued by Universal Studio’s classic monster library, but have not yet discussed the making films for the studio’s Dark Universe. Less than a week ago, The Shape of Water made movie history with all the awards it took home at the Oscars, including one for Best Picture. Inspired by del Toro’s long fascination with the classic Universal monster movie Creature from the Black Lagoon, the film earned Dale and del Toro Oscars for producing the film, as well as Best Director for del Toro, Best Original Score and Best Production Design.The historic win for the genre film comes about eight months after Universal launched its Dark Universe franchise with the reboot of The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, which fell short of expectations at the domestic box office and eventually forced the studio to halt production on director Bill Condon’s remake of The Bride of … [Read more...] about Shape of Water Producer Mulls Joining Dark Universe
Inspired by the success of Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water—a movie which “finally went where scores of women had wanted it to go for decades”—YouTuber Lindsay Ellis decided to walk through the history of the movie monster. In the course of the above video, she reviews the history of beauty-beast myths, from ancient folklore through to del Toro’s film, and the ways that their morality and coding have evolved alongside society’s anxieties and desires. She begins with the preponderance of animal bridegroom stories in world folklore, most of which originated at a time when arranged marriages were the norm in their respective cultures. “Many an arranged marriage must have seemed like being tethered to a monster,” she says, “and the telling of stories like ‘Beauty and the Beast’ may have furnished women with a socially acceptable channel for providing advice, comfort, and the consolation of … [Read more...] about Lindsay Ellis Looks At One of Our Favorite Fictional Tropes: Monster Boyfriends!
Dracula and The Wolf Man are about to haunt an Austin art gallery. The Mondo Gallery is hosting Universal Studio's classic monsters Jan. 19 through Jan. 27, and Heat Vision has an exclusive look at some of the art that will be on display. "Ever since our original Universal Studios’ Monsters show in 2012, we always knew we'd love to revisit it with a handful of fresh, new posters," said Mitch Putnam, Mondo creative director, in a statement. "We've got a bunch of our favorite artists tackling some of the most thrilling films of all time, so this one is kind of a dream come true." Here's the lineup of artists contributing work that was inspired by the monsters that rose to prominence through films made in the 1920s through 1950s: Jonathan Burton, Sam Wolfe Connelly, Francesco Francavilla, Ken Garduno, Brandon Holt, Matthew Peak, Phantom City Creative, Eric Powell, Gary Pullin, Greg Ruth, Jessica Seamans, Stan & Vince, Ken Taylor, Matt Ryan Tobin and Bruce White. Mondo Gallery is … [Read more...] about Universal Monsters Art Exhibit Coming to Austin
The architects of Universal’s planned “Dark Universe” films, Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, have left the project, with Kurtzman returning to TV and Morgan off to write more Fast and Furious movies. Combined with the indefinite postponement of Bride of Frankenstein, which was originally meant to premiere in February of 2019, it’s clear that Universal is seriously rethinking this whole “Dark Universe” idea. So will they finally let go of their shared universe dream?The “Dark Universe” was originally pitched as a reimagining of the classic Universal monster movies, with a new cast taking on iconic creatures like the Mummy, Dracula, the Invisible Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. This time around, though, the creatures would form part of a shared universe, such as the ones that link the Marvel and DC movies. The stars involved included Javier Bardem, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, and alleged domestic … [Read more...] about Will Universal Finally Let the “Dark Universe” Die?
Making good on the adage "when it rains, it pours" Guillermosnagged the directorial duties for The Hobbit, which will tie him up for the next four years, but heFrankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Slaughterhouse-Five and upcoming novel Drood.Putting up with a four-year setback on these projects marksstatement to Variety,Universal also admitted that it's willing to be patient inWolf Man (grainy, leaked trailer here) as an example where it paidStar Wars and has since directed Honey, I Shrunk the Kids! and Jumanji, is scheduled for a JuneIf plans to develop Universal monster properties Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll come through, the studio will be well on their way tomonster franchises. Its reincarnation of The MummyInvisible or Creature of the Black Lagoon … [Read more...] about del Toro snags Hobbit; Universal Resurrects more Monsters
Yesterday, Variety reported that Javier Bardem had been cast as Frankenstein in Universal’s Monster Universe franchise, and Variety’s Justin Kroll later confirmed over Twitter that Bardem will be playing the monster, not the titular scientist.Early reports indicate that Bardem’s character might also be called “Frankenstein” in this adaptation, which, as The Mary Sue’s Glen Tickle wrote several years ago, isn’t really the unforgivable error some people believe it to be—there’s even textual support in Mary Shelley’s novel for why the monster might be called/call himself “Frankenstein.” Regardless, I’m sure we can look forward to a few years of people arguing with each other about which Frankenstein is which.As of now, Universal’s cinematic monster universe also stars Sofia Boutella as the mummy in The Mummy and Tom Cruise as the brave white dude facing off against her (a casting choice that I’m … [Read more...] about Javier Bardem to Terrify Pedants as Frankenstein in Universal’s Monster Universe
Universal Pictures has a long, storied history with monsters. We’ve all heard of Frankenstein’s Monster, the Bride of Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, and the Wolf Man, among others. Well, it looks as though all those old-timey monsters are being “reinvented” as part of a new shared universe the studio has dubbed Dark Universe.The Dark Universe shared universe, which officially launches with the Tom Cruise/Sofia Boutella film The Mummy on June 9th, seeks to reinterpret classic monsters for a modern audience. While no one particularly asked for or needed a new version of The Mummy, putting it in the context of a larger shared universe that’s reinterpreting all the Universal monsters makes a bit more sense. Especially since a part of the reinterpretation for this film is that the titular Mummy is female.Sofia Boutella plays Princess Ahmanet, a character loosely based on the Egyptian goddess Amunet, an ambitious woman in Egypt who … [Read more...] about Universal Unveils Its
Fast & Furious 8 will open on April 14 2017, while the studio reserved Valentine’s Day slots for Fifty Shades Darker (February 10 2017) and Fifty Shades Freed (February 9 2018).Legendary’s Warcraft moves to June 10 2016 in a big show of confidence for the 3D video game adaptation that had been set for March 11 2016.CIA thriller Mena reunites Tom Cruise with his Edge Of Tomorrow director Doug Liman and opens on January 6 2017. Cross Creek Pictures is fully financing.The Mummy moves from June 24 2016 to March 24 2017, while Legendary’s 3D Pacific Rim 2 will move from April 7 2017 to August 4 2017.Untitled Universal Monster Franchise Film moves from April 21 2017 to March 30 2018. … [Read more...] about Universal dates ‘Furious 8’, ‘Fifty Shades’ sequels
This story first appeared in the March 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.Since being promoted to chairman of Universal Pictures in 2009, Adam Fogelson has steered the studio built on monsters like Dracula and the Mummy into less scary financial territory. Despite the disappointment of 2012's $209 million-budgeted Battleship, Universal enjoyed its highest-grossing year worldwide in its 100-year history, thanks to midbudgeted hits Ted ($535.4 million), The Lorax ($348.8 million) and Les Miserables ($378.9 million), which is nominated for eight Oscars. But Fogelson, 45, a genial Stanford grad whose father worked in movie marketing, knows his studio -- the last major without a billion-dollar-grossing movie -- lacks mega-franchises. And the Comcast-owned Universal's recent attempts to create them (Snow White and the Huntsman, launching Illumination Entertainment with Despicable Me filmmaker Chris Meledandri and a since-scrapped deal with toymaker Hasbro) or prolong them (The Bourne … [Read more...] about Universal Chairman Wants ‘Fifty Shades’ for Summer 2014, More ‘Bourne’ and ‘Van Helsing’ Reboot (Q&A)
consolidating its TV entertainment operations under Jeff Gaspin, execs at the company's film studio are working to find some relief amid a boxoffice dry spell.The studio faces its next test Friday when it launches the Adam Sandler vehicle "Funny People," Judd Apatow's latest comedy that, despite its R-rated jokes, is a question mark as it takes the director into more serious territory.The studio -- headed by chairmen Marc Shmuger and David Linde, who were awarded contract extensions through 2013 by Universal Studios president and COO Ron Meyer in January -- recorded company-best worldwide boxoffice results in 2007 and then topped that in 2008, when its global ticket sales reached $2.8 billion.Trying to navigate through 2009 without any tentpole franchises, the studio tried to make a virtue out of necessity, mixing smartly written adult-skewing films with broader comedies. But with the exception of the car-racing sequel "Fast & Furious" -- a summer release that the studio shrewdly … [Read more...] about Universal plots amid boxoffice dry spell