Renfield movie

Renfield, the lunatic who loves to eat bugs and pal around with Count Dracula, is getting his own movie. Having failed with their original Dark Universe plan, Universal is now taking risks on stranger projects. One is Leigh Whannell’s creepy-looking and very modern Invisible Man. The other is Paul Feig’s Dark Army. And now here comes Renfield, with Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher at the helm.

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frankenstein tv show

Criminals beware: Detective Frankenstein is on the case! CBS has ordered a Frankenstein TV series in which a cop is brought back from the dead by none other than Dr. Victor Frankenstein. So it’s basically like RoboCop, which asjs the question: why didn’t they call this FrankenCop? We may never know. Jason Tracey, a writer on Burn Notice and Elementary, is behind the show.

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Mondo Universal Monsters

Mondo is at it again, hosting yet another show devoted to art focused around the classic Universal Monsters. FrankensteinThe Bride of FrankensteinDracula, The Mummy and various other characters featured in the hit song The Monster Mash will all be making an appearance at the show….at least in art from. The monsters won’t really be there, because that would too terrifying. Check out some of the pieces from the Mondo Universal Monsters gallery show below.

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frankenstein and bride of frankenstein

(Welcome to The Final Girl, a regular feature from someone who has steered clear of horror and is ready to finally embrace the genre that goes bump in the night. Next on the list: James Whale’s two monster movie classics, Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein.)

When /Film managing editor Jacob Hall told me that the first two movies I would be watching after It were Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, I breathed a sigh of relief. No. I was more than relieved, I was ecstatic. Gothic romance! The birth of science fiction! Pre-Code movies! Those were my bread and butter.

So it came as a quiet surprise to me that I hadn’t actually seen or read Frankenstein yet. I knew of the mythos, of course — the bolt-headed monster, the frantic shrieks of “It’s alive,” Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks’ hysterically funny satire of the classic movie, Young Frankenstein. I was so familiar with the beats of the story and had seen famous scene countless times in the background of other movies, but had never actually watched James Whale’s 1931 classic and its sequel. It was high time to remedy that.

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universal monsters universe

Cinematic universes are all the rage right now.

Which is why it was met with little surprise — but much chagrin — when Universal Studios announced their plans to create a movie franchise out of classic monster movie reboots. Another cinematic universe? Haven’t we had enough interconnected franchises, with Marvel and DC at each other’s throats over superhero sequels, Warner Bros creating their own MonsterVerse with Godzilla and King Kong, and whatever the heck is going on with that Man in Black/21 Jump Street crossover?

But producer Chris Morgan, one of the minds behind the whole Universal Monsters operation, assures audiences that Universal’s movie universe will be as different from the MCU and DCEU as possible.

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Universal Monsters Movie Universe

Last year it was revealed that Fast and the Furious producer Chris Morgan was teaming with screenwriter/director Alex Kurtzman to design a Universal Monsters cinematic universe. The plan was to reboot the Universal Monsters properties, including characters such as Dracula, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon, each with their own movies leading to an Avengers-type film that would bring them all together.

The trailer for the first film in the series, The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, was released over the weekend, giving us a first look at the Universal Monster movie universe. I had the opportunity to talk with director Alex Kurtzman about the creation of this world, what their intentions are, how they hope to bring it all together and more. Please note the headline comparison to Marvel is my own, not Kurtzman’s. Although I think its obvious that Kurtzman’s opinion on building a cinematic movie universe seem to closely reflect Marvel Studios’ own philosophies and approach.

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javier bardem frankenstein

UPDATE: The chief question I proposed below has been answered by Variety’s Justin Kroll on Twitter:

The original article continues below.

If there was any doubt about whether or not Universal was viewing their new monsters cinematic universe as something that should be taken very seriously, just look at the talent they’ve been assembling: Tom Cruise will battle the title creature in The Mummy, Russell Crowe is playing a new version of Dr. Jekyll, Johnny Depp is on board to portray the Invisible Man, and Dwayne Johnson is rumored to be the top choice for the Wolf Man. Okay, so that last one is a little weird, but at least everyone loves The Rock.

And now, we can add another name to the mix: the great Javier Bardem has been cast as Frankenstein.

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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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Victor Frankenstein (2)

Professor X and Harry Potter will be getting to some seriously screwed up stuff this fall. A pair of Victor Frankenstein first look images reveal the not-so-good doctor (played by James McAvoy) and his sidekick Igor (played by Daniel Radcliffe), whose terrible creation threatens to destroy them both. See the first Victor Frankenstein images after the jump.  Read More »

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Fox’s ‘Frankenstein’ Gets New Title and Synopsis

frankenstein movie synopsis

Neither audiences nor critics had much use for I, Frankenstein when it opened back in January. But fortunately for the classic monster, he’ll have another chance to win over audiences next year.

As Paul McGuigan puts the finishing touches on his version of the Frankenstein tale, starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, it’s picked up both a new title and a new synopsis. Get the details after the jump.

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