Filmmaking Team Radio Silence Stepping Back From The Scream Franchise To Helm Universal Monster Movie

The film collective known as Radio Silence has more than proved they know their way around a recognizable IP, having taken the reins on the "Scream" franchise following the passing of horror maestro Wes Craven. Following their success with Paramount's slasher staple, it was announced that the group would tackle a remake of John Carpenter's genre-bending "Escape from New York" and a series adaptation of the serial killer crime drama, "The Butcher and the Wren." But now, the Radio Silence team of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, and Chad Villella are taking on the horror holy grail — a Universal Monster movie.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett will direct the currently untitled project with Villella producing. The script was written by Stephen Shields ("The Hole in the Ground," "Hunted") with revisions provided by frequent Radio Silence collaborator, Guy Busick. As of publication, Universal has not provided many details regarding the new project but THR posits that the film will follow in similar footsteps as Leigh Whannell's "The Invisible Man" and Chris McKay's "Renfield," where instead of a true remake of the film, Radio Silence will deliver "a unique take on legendary monster lore and will represent a fresh, new direction for how to celebrate these classic characters."

Admittedly, all of this sounds extremely exciting. Outside of the "Scream" series, Radio Silence has also delivered plenty of original scares, like their segments in "Southbound" and the "V/H/S" films, and the feature films "Devil's Due" and "Ready or Not." However, THR reports that the project was allegedly titled "Dracula's Daughter" before its current untitled status, which admittedly sounds like a cause for concern.

The importance of Dracula's Daughter

The Hollywood Reporter noted that the film was "centered on a group of kidnappers who abduct a band of young people, one of which ends up being the titular character." In the wake of "Renfield," a film with a title like "Dracula's Daughter" sounds like an exciting platform for a new way to focus on another character in the orbit of the Count. However, "Dracula's Daughter" is an existing figure in the canon of Universal Monster movies, and an extremely important one at that.

While "The Bride of Frankenstein" introduced the first proper female monster into the fold, she was also a character that was barely shown on screen, was denied any autonomy, and short of hisses and screaming, didn't actually speak. Countess Marya Zaleska in "Dracula's Daughter," played perfectly by Gloria Holden, was not just the first fully realized female monster in the group, she was also gay as hell. I have no qualms admitting my bias, as I have a full portrait tattoo of the Countess on my forearm. She's unquestionably my favorite of the Universal Monsters, and her legacy of being pushed out of the spotlight for her obvious queerness in favor of a character (The Bride) who was made to "belong" to a male monster is something that many LGBTQIA+ horror fans hold sacred. This isn't to say that the film shouldn't be "allowed" to be remade or anything like that, but it is to say there is a very important history that should be respected and taken into account.

The guys at Radio Silence have proven they have what it takes to honor the past while looking toward the future with their "Scream" films. Here's hoping they do the same for "Dracula's Daughter" ... or whatever they end up calling the film.