After the critical and box office success of Toy Story 4 – which avoided fans long-standing fears that it would significantly dent the franchise after the superb ending to Toy Story 3 – director Josh Cooley has found his next project.
Except it’s not animated, and it’s not at Disney. Instead, Cooley will direct a family-friendly film titled Little Monsters for Universal.
So no, that’s not anything to do with the Lupita Nyong’o zombie movie from last year, nor a remake of the Howie Mandel and Fred Savage movie. It’s an original film. Yes, really!
Per THR, the film will be a live-action hybrid featuring characters from the entire history of Universal’s monster movies.
There’s not many more details yet, but it’s been described it as a love letter to classic Hollywood and the history of filmmaking. The story will take a multigenerational approach to the monsters, and will be based on designs by concept artist Crash McCreery.
McCreery has worked on a number of visually striking movies, including Batman Returns, Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl, and Rango. Universal will be hoping he can find similar success to those projects.
Obviously Universal also has their much more adult-orientated collection of new monster movies as well. The success of Leigh Whannell‘s The Invisible Man has led to Karyn Kusama making a Dracula movie.
It also led to Paul Feig writing and directing Dark Army, Elizabeth Banks working on an Invisible Woman remake, and Whannell himself directing Ryan Gosling in a new Wolfman movie.
So expect those projects to remain separate, while the studio tries to concurrently create a lighter, more family-centric classic monsters universe. Keep going back to that well until it runs dry, right?
This isn’t the only post-Pixar project Cooley has in the works. He’s also been tapped to helm the first theatrical animated Transformers movie since 1986. So he isn’t completely done with animation just yet.