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Top Producers Depart Universal Monsters ‘Dark Universe’ Franchise as Studio Changes Course

Dark Universe, we hardly knew ye! After the disappointing performance of Tom Cruise’s The Mummy this summer (the film earned a paltry $80 million at the domestic box office against a production budget of $125 million), there was speculation that Universal’s ambitious Dark Universe franchise would not proceed as planned. Then came the news that the studio had pulled the plug on pre-production of Bill Condon’s Bride of Frankenstein. Now, things have gone from bad to worse! The Hollywood Reporter just broke the news that writers/producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan have officially left the project. Kurtzman directed The Mummy, and the duo were initially brought on board to oversee production of the entire cinematic universe, which once promised to feature the likes of Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, and Anjelina Jolie in future installments. read more

Will The Mummy Send Universal’s Dark Universe Back to the Shadows?

As detailed by HNN’s John Evan’s on FridayThe Mummy’s (2017) abysmal critical reception led to a domestic financial disaster at the box office with an estimated $32.2 million in ticket sales, amounting to a lot less than the average Pharaoh’s treasure.  While the studio is trumpeting the global box office as a “victory” with an estimated $141 million so far, The Mummy’s domestic reception could not have been worse for a film that was supposed to usher in a “new age of god’s and monsters.” read more

Universal Reportedly Wants Angelina Jolie and Dwayne Johnson for ‘Dark Universe’ Franchise

Have you ever wanted to see Angelina Jolie as the Bride of Frankenstein, or Dwayne Johnson as the Wolf Man? Well, you may be in luck! The Hollywood Reporter recently crunched the numbers needed for Universal’s upcoming The Mummy to be considered a success (a $40 million domestic opening weekend, for starters). In their report, they state that, if all goes well, the studio is currently eyeing the two megastars for future installments in the franchise. 

The studio has reportedly wanted Angelina Jolie for quite a while to play the titular role in Bill Condon’s upcoming Bride of Frankenstein. However, formal negotiations have not yet begun. This is likely due to the fact that Jolie commands a hefty fee and the studio isn’t quite sure if their action-fueled reboots of their silver screen classics will become financial hits. read more

Stiched Author Mariah McCourt and Artist Aaron Alexovich: The Horror News Network Interview

Graphic novel sales continue to grow at an unprecedented rate, and one of the fastest growing sub-groups is young female readers. Traditionally, teen girls were an important demographic for Manga sales, but in recent years the likes of  Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Sisters) and Noelle Stevenson (Nimona, LumberJanes) have expanded the medium beyond traditional super hero fare and Japanese imports.  Papercutz (one of the leading publishers of graphic novels for younger audiences) has just launched a new imprint focusing on this quickly expanding demographic called Charmz. One of their first offerings, entitled Stitched, is sure to make young horror fans happy.  Horror News Network  had the chance to speak to both the writer (Mariah McCourt) and artist (Aaron Alexovich) of the new title, and they were able to answer questions about their story, the changing face of graphic novel readership, and, of course, horror. read more

Universal Monsters Fans Deserve Their Very Own La La Land

Damien Chazelle’s incredible La La Land was the product of a young writer/director who tapped into his love and knowledge of classic films and musicals to craft a modern story which mixes the best of both worlds. He showed promise with the script for 10 Cloverfield Lane and his writing and directing on Whiplash. These early projects allowed him to gain the resources in Hollywood to ultimately knock it out of the park with La La Land. When the studio heads finally gave him the greenlight for his passion project, he ultimately produced a film that would earn 14 Oscar nominations (the highest any film has ever earned, tying Titanic and All About Eve) and win 6 Oscars (a feat matched by such films as The Godfather: Part 2, Star Wars, and one of La La Land‘s inspirations, An American in Paris). Not to trivialize the brilliant filmmaking, the expert cinematography, the beautiful songs, and the amazing chemistry of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling… but the formula kind of makes sense, right? Find a young writer/director who is passionate about the history of film but has an eye for contemporary conventions, and- voila!- you have a movie that resonates with fans and critics alike! read more

New Action-Packed The Mummy Trailer Released

Universal released a new action-packed The Mummy trailer today, which is set to be released in theaters on June 9, 2017 in the middle of a packed summer season.

The trailer reveals more details than the first one, and amps up the action ala Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible series. While purists may balk at the amount of explosions and crashing planes (The Mummy is hardly seen in the original 1932 Universal film ), but there does appear to be more elements of classic Universal Horror, more so than the last reboot from the late 1990’s starring Brendan Fraser. read more

World War Z Sequel and Friday the 13th Reboot Removed From 2017 Release List

The World War Z Sequel and the Friday the 13th Reboot have just been removed from Paramount Pictures 2017 release list according to Deadline.

World War Z Two was originally scheduled to debut on June 9th opposite Universal’s The Mummy, but the film has been plagued by pre-production troubles with original director Juan Antonio Bayona exiting the project last year.  No replacement director has been named at this point, although David Fincher was mentioned as a potential “dream” choice last summer, but reports were probably more wishful thinking than a concrete possibility. The removal of WWZ 2  does work out for Universal, as The Mummy will open unopposed on June 9th, as the studio hopes to launch their very own “Classic Monsters” cinematic universe. read more

Full Trailer for “The Mummy” Reboot Starring Tom Cruise is Released

Last week we posted the teaser trailer for Universal Pictures’ newest reboot of The Mummy franchise and now the full trailer has landed. Featuring Tom Cruise in what looks to be a very “action movie”-style take on The Mummy story, we get a larger view of Sofia Boutella as the title character.

The Mummy is the first in what Universal is hoping to be a reboot of their classic monsters with Javier Bardem slated to take on the role of Frankenstein and Johnny Depp to tackle The Invisible Man. Also, according to writer/director/producer Alex Kurtzman, it seems that all of the separate movies are to culminate in a “meeting of the monsters” Marvel-type film. read more

Teaser Released for Universal’s Reboot of “The Mummy” Starring Tom Cruise

With a full-length trailer slated for release this Sunday, Universal has decided to give the world a taste of The Mummy a few days early.

Set for a June 2017 release, The Mummy stars Tom Cruise, Russel Crowe and Sofia Boutella as the vengeful Egyptian princess Ahmanet. Featuring a nod to The Bride of Frankenstein with the tagline “to a new world of gods and monsters”, Universal is obviously hoping for a strong revival to their once proud days of ruling the monster scene.

From the press release: read more

Alex Ross’ Universal Monsters Coming in 2017

Eisner Award winning comic artists, Alex Ross Fine Art will be premiering a Universal Monsters set next year at San Diego Comic Con next year. Ross’ “Creature Features” and will feature these classics both in their original black and white and color tinted editions.  The set features the Universal Monster icons that were featured in films during the 1920’s through the 1950’s. The Classic Universal Monsters set will include:

  • (Boris Karloff) Frankenstein -1931
  • (Bela Lugosi) Dracula-1931
  • (Elsa Lanchester) Bride of Frankenstein-1935
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon-1954
  • (Boris Karloff) The Mummy-1932
  • (Lon Chaney Jr) The Wolf Man-1941
  • (Claude Rains) The Invisible Man-1933
  • Monster Mash

Ross is best known for his work with Marvel and DC Comics on titles including Kingdom Come, Batman, Spiderman, and Justice League among many, many others. Horror comic fans, as well as those not fans of the genre, will most likely eat these instantly collectible items up from this legendary comic artist.  You can check out the preview below. read more