universal

Nowadays, it seems like everything has their own cinematic universe. You gotta give Marvel (and now DC) credit for fully implementing the idea of a coherent universe, spread across multiple films expanding the narrative for each of their films in the subsequent films. Of course, they weren’t the first ones to do it. Way back in the 1920s, Universal Studios made a series of films based on the classic monsters including: Frankenstein, The Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, The Mummy, The Werewolf, The Invisible Man, and many others. Now, it looks like Universal is going back to the well with planned reboots of these monsters in their new shared universe: Dark Universe.

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Mallrats 2

In recent months, we’ve heard chatter about the making of a sequel to Kevin Smith‘s ‘Mallrats’, his second feature film released 21 years ago that starred a whole mess of talented actors. Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, Shannen Doherty, Joey Lauren Adams, Michael Rooker, Jason Mewes and Smith himself. Even Stan Lee had an appearance, one much, much longer than anything he’s done in his Marvel cameos. As the months rolled on, we heard more and more of the original cast had signed on to be a part of the sequel. Last count, Smith had nearly everyone game for a reprisal.

So now we have ‘Mallrats 2,’ or rather ‘Mallbrats’ as it’s being called, on our minds. What will it be about? What is this new mall like? How will it look seeing everyone 21 years older than the first time? And the big question… WHEN IS IT COMING?! It looks like we have an answer. Smith called in to 93.3 WMMR radio in Philadelphia and chatted with the morning team of Preston and Steve. On the show, Kevin divulged why this has been hanging in limbo and just what the plans are now. (more…)

The Mummy

Universal Studios continues development for their “Shared Monsters Universe” which is planning to include Dracula, The Wolf Man, Van Helsing, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, Frankenstein/Bride of Frankenstein, and The Mummy.  The first of the films to come forward was Dracula Untold.  The next film as part of this shared universe will be a reboot of The Mummy.  This version of the film will be set in current times, and will have a little more star power than the previous versions of the classic monster.  The film already has Tom Cruise as the hero and Sofia Boutella as The Mummy leading the film.  Other actors attached to the project are Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Marwan Kenzar, and Courtney B. Vance.  Production for The Mummy has already begun.  Another actor is currently in talks to join the film and possibly have their own spin-off film if all goes well.

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Riddick fans, it’s time for some celebration Riddick-style, so grab your weird, curvy knives, put on your gruffest voice, and stumble around in the dark like an idiot, because it is on! Vin Diesel‘s production company One Race has partnered with Universal Television in a multi-year, first look production deal. It appears that the first project we’re going to get out of this deal is a return to the world that Vin Diesel first created with writer/director David Twohy in 2000’s Pitch Black. The show will be called Merc City and will focus on the world of the bounty hunters inside the Riddick universe.

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nintendo-characters

No matter how you feel about them or their place in the modern video game industry, no other gaming company has as many beloved franchises in their roster as Nintendo. Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, and Star Fox are at the top of the list and, with very few exceptions, are peerless. It’s no wonder then that Universal Studios, known for their awesome theme parks and attractions, would team up with Nintendo to bring their roster of characters and worlds into their properties. (more…)

Chris Pratt

After the revelation that Chris Pratt turned down the main role for Sony’s big screen adaptation of the hit video game Uncharted, there were a few disappointed fans of both; the game and the actor, left questioning his decision. However, if you think about it, his agent must be inundated with myriad scripts after the success of Guardians of the Galaxy propelled Pratt into A List territory. Fortunately Pratt is now attached Universal’s tentpole adaptation of the graphic novel Cowboy Ninja Viking (does it come as any surprise that this role has sparked an interest from Pratt?). A movie with that kind of title would have Pratt’s Parks and Recreation alter ego Andy Dwyer jumping around stupid like an excited and diminutive kid-ster (Pratt is like a slightly less pumped version of Dwyer). This is also a pretty smart move, as it is a massive genre project that Universal is pumping a lot of talent and money into. With a story focusing on a schizophrenic assassin who obtains the skills of a Cowboy, a Ninja, and a Viking working for a secret government program, who wouldn’t want to be involved in a project like that?! (more…)

MM1

As it stands, we have Marvel and Disney making lucrative business with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Fox have the lucrative X-men to branch out on (recently announced Deadpool movie) and Sony have Spiderman (however, things aren’t looking too hot business wise with that franchise as Venom has been cancelled). So it’s only natural that Universal were planning on expanding their Monster Movie Universe. But here’s the kicker, the past couple of movies have performed rather poorly at the box office. The original monster movies’ are what Universal studios were built on. With the success of movies such as Frankenstein, The Invisiable Man, Dracula and The Mummy that originated from the 1930s, helping Universal become the mammoth studio it is today. However, it seems like Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley has conceded defeat. (more…)

FiveGhostsNB

It seems that comic-to-TV adaptations become more and more common, and now some of those involved with making the Walking Dead television show are teaming up with one of the best comic writers, Warren Ellis. In addition, even more comic properties seem to be headed to the small screen as Night Mary and Five Ghosts (pictured above) have been optioned.

Ellis, writer of such things as Iron Man: Extremis, Red, Transmetropolitan, and much, much more, has signed up with Walking Dead produced Gale Ann Hurd and Valhalla Entertainment to create an entirely new television project with Universal Cable Productions. No word on what it is yet, but this is Ellis’ first original venture into television, so it’ll be exciting to see what he comes up with. (more…)

UniversalMonsters

Dracula, The Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Mummy, and pals are set to be rebooted by their original creators: Universal Pictures. Plans are in set to make cinema’s most famous fiends into an interconnected series of new films–much like Marvel has done with its superhero characters, and Warner Bros is doing with the denizens of DC comics.

But before you scorn Universal for besmirching the legacy of some of the greatest characters in filmdom with a modern-day gimmick, it’s important to remember that these characters BEGAN as part of an interconnected universe. Standalone films like Dracula and Frankenstein eventually evolved into multi-monster pictures like Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, House of Dracula, and House of Frankenstein.

And now, under the creative authority of Alex Kurtzman–who worked on the Transformers and Star Trek films with former partner Roberto Orci–and Fast and Furious franchise scribe Chris Morgan, the Universal Monsters are getting a long overdue silver-screen “reunion”. (more…)

sharedunivserse

If you’re old enough, you may recall a time when movies were made, released, enjoyed, and that was it. Yes youngins’, believe it or not there was a time where not every film spurred a sequel or jump-started a franchise. For better or worse those days are gone, and as The Hollywood Reporter predicts, this year will be the year of the “shared universe.” No longer satisfied with million dollar earning franchises, Hollywood is looking to link even more films together, turning millions into billions at the box office.  (more…)