Home Entertainment Universal's MONSTER Universe to be Action-Adventure, not Horror

Universal's MONSTER Universe to be Action-Adventure, not Horror

2 min read

universal-monstersIf there’s any concept that’s a big deal in Hollywood right now, it’s superheroes in a shared universe. Given the success Marvel has had with creating one, it’s no surprise Warner Bros with its DC characters, Sony with Spider-Man, and Fox with The X-Men are all trying to cash in on the same formula; and time will tell how well they’ll turn out overall. Universal Pictures has made their intent clear to get into the shared universe business, but while they lack a big name superhero franchise they do have something else – the rights to a number of classic horror movie properties such as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and a few others.

At The Hollywood Reporters recent annual film executive round table, Universal chairman Donna Langley gave some insight into why they chose this path:

“We have to mine our resources. We don’t have any capes [in our film library]. But what we do have is an incredible legacy and history with the monster characters. We’ve tried over the years to make monster movies — unsuccessfully, actually. So, we took a good, hard look at it, and we settled upon an idea, which is to take it out of the horror genre, put it more in the action-adventure genre and make it present day, bringing these incredibly rich and complex characters into present day and reimagine them and reintroduce them to a contemporary audience.”

The Mummy (and its ridiculously named hero Tyler Colt), currently set for release in the US on 24 June 2016, is Universals the first official step into the shared universe pool; although they dipped their toes into the water with Dracula Untold which they later confirmed as hinting at a larger universe. Kervyn reviewed the latter here giving it 3/5 and saying it’s a touch of mindless action. I finally caught it over the weekend myself and quite enjoyed it – it was definitely different from the standard “I vunt to suck your blud!” that we’re all accustomed to. The success of the experiment will hinge on how well The Mummy is received.

While a number of horror movie purists have choked on their popcorn at the idea of these characters being de-horrified, I’m open to the idea that it could work as long as the movies strive for a darker tone than we normally get in action-adventure fare. If, as we were informed at the end of Dracula Untold, the games are indeed beginning… and the monsters are the pieces… who are the players?

Last Updated: November 17, 2014


  1. This is extremely disappointing. Donna Langley referred to the characters as incredibly rich and complex with an incredible legacy and history. So then why piss on their legacy ? I read a comment from Steve Barton (Dread Central) and it says it all

    “You know what makes sense? Taking these wonderful horror franchises and making good movies instead of abandoning their roots and heritage. Stop making silly decisions like trying to turn Van Helsing into a superhero or hiring Rick Baker to do Wolfman effects and then opting for a CGI transformation. Or how about giving directors who actually care about these movies a shot at making them?”

    And please don’t let Dracula Untold be included as part of this. Do we really need monster movies to be CGI infested garbage ? Didn’t they learn with Van Helsing ? Why not let Dracula have the classic look and Transylvania accent, have Frankenstein go back to the Karloff style makeup etc… have great atmosphere, gothic cemetery’s, castles, fog and all that stuff. Use as much practical effects as possible. When it comes to monster movies, I’ll take a guy in a suit over CGI anytime!

    I can’t say I’m surprised, but what a huge letdown. There already seems to be a huge backlash from both horror and even non horror fans. Not a good sign!!


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      November 17, 2014 at 19:06

      Yes, I’m not sold on it, seems like a bit of a knee-jerk to get into the shared universe thing, but I’m willing to give it a chance. The Mummy will show us where they’re really going with it, but if it’s not dark or horror-lite then I think they’ll have missed a trick – because the horror side is what would separate them from the superheroes.

      Dracula Untold is included, don’t know if you’ve seen it so I’ll avoid direct spoilers, but there’s a scene right at the end that suggests a bigger picture.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Chris McKay confirms that Lego Batman 2 isn’t happening

Chris McKay has confirmed that with Lego now moving to Universal, all plans for his Lego B…