Jumping onto the shared film universe bandwagon that movie studios apparently must adopt in order to compete, Universal plans on releasing classic monster movies every year which all intersect into one film setting. Perhaps younger audiences may not know this but cinema and Hollywood were founded in the horror genre. Universal were responsible for making hit, iconic movies based on novels like Dracula, Frankenstein, and making a whole set of monsters come to life on the big screen way back in the 1930s.
Now Universal wants to re-imagine and expand on this horror template of monsters as they have stated here. Each movie monster, from Wolfman, to The Mummy, to Swamp Thing will get their own individual movie with their own narrative, then later all the monsters will join in an Avengers style film. More details have surfaced regarding how these films will be executed tonally and thematically, straight from Alex Kurtzman, the man in charge of all these films had this to say:
“I promise you there will be horror in these movies… The tricky part is actually how you combine horror with either adventure or suspense or action and be true to all the genres together”. Adding to this Kurtzman spoke with Variety to reveal more about the process of adapting and expanding the movies; “This is not a heightened world. We’re exploring issues of family identity and questions of, ‘Where do I belong in the world?’ ”
Disney were the first to do the shared film universe concept and make it extremely profitable with their Marvel Universe and doing the same with Star Wars. Since then Warner Bros. are trying to do the same with DC Comics, and even Universal has already started doing this with the Fast and Furious movies. There are clearly a lot of good intentions from Alex Kurtzman and other members of the creative teams he will be working with, but the layer of cynicism behind Universal’s motivations for attempting this are so blatant it’s pathetic.
All this talk of making these monster movies being mature and earnest depictions of their original characters makes me sigh in disappointment. These films won’t be scary because modern horror films aren’t scary, this is just a cash grab nothing more.