universal monsters reboot

At their best, the classic Universal monster movies are masterpieces. At their worst, they remain fascinating windows into long-gone era. Taken together, they are an untouchable library of iconic characters, brilliant moments, and smart filmmakers making the absolute most out of what should have been schlock. Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, and the rest of their companions represent the high water mark of horror. Everything else chases them.

And Universal knows this. They know that their studio (currently nearing the end of a landmark year) was built on a foundation of horror movies. They know that these characters are a vital part of their legacy. They know that they’re due for a resurrection and have been taking their sweet time quietly constructing a series of reboots that will return the monsters to the screen. Now, details of how they’re approaching these reboots have begun to trickle out online, and it’s like watching someone handle precious relics – the people involved may be smart, but you’re still nervous as hell.

Read on for more details on the Universal monsters reboot.

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Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola makes a lot more wine than he does movies nowadays. We haven’t seen a film from the iconic director behind The GodfatherApocalypse Now, and The Conversation for four years now. His last picture, Twixt, came and went. Over the past decade Coppola has been directing some of his most experimental work, not what he calls “factory movies,” which he has no interest in making. Read more about why the director stopped making movies for major studios after the jump.

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Luke Evans

Briefly: Universal has set release dates for two Fall 2014 movies. First up is Dracula, starring Luke Evans (above, though not seen in a still from the film) and directed by Gary Shore. That’ll be out October 3, 2014. Then there’s Search Party, a comedy directed by Scot Armstrong (writer of Road Trip, Old School and The Hangover: Part II) and starring Thomas Middleditch, TJ Miller and Adam Pally. That’ll be out September 12, 2014.

Legendary Pictures

As Legendary Pictures settles into their new deal with Universal Pictures, CEO Thomas Tull & co. have begun to figure out which projects they can help finance. First up will be Dracula, directed by Gary Shore, starring Luke Evans and Dominic Cooper. That movie is out August 8, 2014. After that, they are interesting in helping with Colin Trevorrow‘s 2015 sequel, Jurassic Park IV. Nothing has been made official but early reports are Legendary is interested in co-financing the film, pending a final look at the script and creative elements. Read More »

The Michael J Fox Show

As last fall’s new shows head to their season finales, the broadcast networks are readying a new crop of shows for this fall. NBC has unveiled first looks for several of theirs. Among them are the obviously-titled The Michael J. Fox Show; Sean Saves the World from Better Off Ted creator Victor Fresco; and the James Spader-starring The Blacklist. See them and more after the jump. Read More »


Dracula Year Zero is a project that has languished in “on again, off again” status at Universal for some time. Once set to go with Alex Proyas directing and Sam Worthington starring, the film was off for a while. Early in 2012, Universal set the film to more active status again, with commercial director Gary Shore set to make his feature debut at the helm.

Now the film has reportedly been green lit, and Luke Evans has been set to star. [Update: Universal has clarified that, at this point, the film is simply called Dracula.] Read More »

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Community fans have hoped for the best when it comes to the fourth season of the playful sitcom, which is now being shot without the input of creator Dan Harmon. And while NBC and the current showrunners, David Guarascio and Moses Port, have insisted that everything is on track for a satisfying season, now we don’t know when that season will actually begin. The truncated fourth season of the show was meant to move to Friday night on October 19. But now NBC has delayed that season start

Whitney, also set for a Friday debut on the 19th, has been delayed as well. NBC isn’t talking, though Vulture says the reason could be as simple as money, as the network is paying to market other new shows, and hasn’t been able to get around to the Friday leftover slate. We’ll have to wait and see what the Peacock does with both shows, and whether it moves them to new days, or lets them slide back to their original days. (That would be Wed. for Whitney, and Thurs for Community.)

After the break, new info on NBC’s plans for Dracula. Read More »

For years — almost a decade — the script The Last Voyage of the Demeter has been a revolving door of directors who could never quite get the film made. Robert Schwentke (Red), Marcus Nispel (Conan the Barbarian), Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters),and David Slade (Hard Candy) have all tried to film the script by Bragi Schut (Season of the Witch).

The story explores in detail the sea voyage that brings Dracula from Transylvania to England. Ruzowitzky even had a cast lined up, with Noomi Rapace and Ben Kingsley attached, but his version never happened, and even when Slade came on board over a year ago, the ship didn’t sail.

Now Neil Marshall (The Descent, Doomsday, Centurion) is attached to direct for Millennium Films. Read More »

I hope you didn’t think that spectacles like the Great Snow White Race of 2011 were going to disappear in 2012. There are multiple incarnations of Beauty and the Beast, Frankenstein and many other tales brewing at studios, all of which want to squeeze some money out of recognizable public domain characters.

Dracula is looking like the next target of attacks on multiple fronts. We just heard that Dracula Year Zero is back from the dead, and the film Harker, which recasts the Bram Stoker character as a member of Scotland Yard, is gearing up. Now Sony has picked up a new Dracula spec script from Jason Keller (Machine Gun Preacher, Mirror, Mirror and a rewrite on The Tomb), with the intent to create a ‘period franchise.’ Read More »