Though each of the classic Universal monster movies (starting with Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, and The Mummy) stands alone, by the time producers were done with all the characters, some had started to cross over into one another’s films. So it’s no surprise to hear that there are ideas for a Marvel Studios-style “monsters universe” at Universal now.

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have been working on two monster-releated reboots for Universal: The Mummy and Van Helsing. Now Orci explains that, in coming up with ideas for each, the notion of “a universe” has started to sprout. Read More »

Universal is in an interesting position now. The studio is free of the contract with Hasbro that had it dedicated to developing board-game properties for some time, and has started to settle into a place where it floats on the performance of big comedies (Ted), the occasional well-chosen pop-culture adaptation (Les Miserables), and affordable franchise installments (Fast & Furious, Bourne) rather than massive tentpoles.

And so Universal is working on sequels to the giant hit Ted and horror performer Mama. In a new interview, studio chairman Adam Fogelson explains that he also may made an Identity Thief sequel (“we created great characters, so we’ll discuss how to re-pair Jason [Bateman] and Melissa going forward”) and an “at long last” film version of Wicked (“I believe that we are collectively moving toward Wicked coming to the screen sooner rather than later”).

But the real focus is on those franchise installments, including another Snow White and the Huntsman movie, and the new Mummy and Van Helsing films. Read More »

We’ll very likely see another film featuring Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman character from Snow White and the Huntsman, but the precise details of that SWATH sequel seem up in the air. A small part of the uncertainty around that project is due to the public and embarrassing affair between Snow White director Rupert Sanders and his star Kristen Stewart. It’s a thing I hate even mentioning, because it should have nothing to do with anything other than their lives, but in this case it seems to be having some ripples in the film business as well.

So there’s another big project that Universal wants to get moving: the new version of Van Helsing that has Tom Cruise attached to star and Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Cowboys & Aliens, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) scripting. And it’s starting to look like we might see Sanders stepping in to direct that film, with the potential Snow White and the Huntsman sequel going to another director. Read More »

Universal’s last attempt to bring vampire hunter extraordinaire Van Helsing to the big screen resulted in the ridiculous mess that was 2004’s Van Helsing, but the studio’s gearing up for another try. Tom Cruise has been attached to star in a new version of the film for a few years now, and its producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have started talking up the differences between their Van Helsing and previous Van Helsings.

Long story short: Expect this reboot to be grittier and more realistic. Read Kurtzman’s comments after the jump.

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Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci‘s Cowboys & Aliens may not have been much of a hit, but things haven’t soured between the pair and Universal. The studio has signed a two-year first-look deal with the studio, and they’re now part of the new version of The Mummy that Prometheus writer Jon Spaihts is putting together with producer Sean Daniel.

There’s something else interesting in the announcement of the deal, however: Kurtzman and Orci are the latest producers to take part in developing and producing a new Van Helsing, with Tom Cruise producing alongside them and currently attached to star. Actually, we should make that “still attached to star,” as Cruise has been a part of Van Helsing for a couple years now; the project just hasn’t had any big public profile for a while. Read More »


Briefly: So Guillermo del Toro is directing At the Mountains of Madness (finally!) with James Cameron producing. Thanks to those years spent developing The Hobbit, that’ll be the first picture he’s directed since Hellboy II. But just before the news of GdT making his Lovecraft film came up, there was a report that he was developing a new Van Helsing film for Universal. Del Toro downplayed that project while giving interviews at Comic Con, and given how many things he has on his plate it’s probably unlikely that he’ll ever go back to Van Helsing in any capacity even after At the Mountains of Madness is done.

But Vulture reports the film isn’t quite dead, because it has Tom Cruise as a producer. And when del Toro was developing the film at the studio Cruise was (and still is) considering it as a starring project. That might not mean much, because Cruise considers a lot of things as possible starring projects, but chew on the idea of a del Toro Van Helsing film that stars Tom Cruise. Hell, chew on the idea of Cruise playing Bram Stoker’s storied vampire hunter at all. Yike.


Last week there was word that Guillermo del Toro is working with Universal to develop a new Van Helsing movie. Not necessarily a sequel to the Hugh Jackman film from 2003, but another hybrid action horror film with the classic vampire hunter as the main character. The report was that del Toro would write a treatment (not the script) and produce. Now he’s released a statement to his official fansite to clear up the speculation about Van Helsing. Read More »


The moment that Guillermo del Toro walked away from The Hobbit, speculation began to run rampant as to what his next film might be.  He’s got quite a few options, and now there might be one more: a report says that he’s working to develop a new film featuring the vampire hunter Van Helsing invented by Bram Stoker and spun off into a very silly film of his own in 2004. Read More »