While there may no longer be hope for the Dark Universe, the standalone movies continue on full-steam ahead. In an exclusive update, Variety is reporting that Elisabeth Moss will star in the re-imagining of the Universal Studios classic monster story The Invisible Man (with an assist from Blumhouse Productions.) Man (based on the 1897 H.G. Wells novel) was initially slated to be part of Universal’s “Dark Universe”, a series of interconnected films that would reunite all of the original “Universal Monster” characters into a single cinematic universe. However, the box office failure of the Tom Cruise-led reboot of The Mummy in 2017 forced the studio to rethink its plans altogether and to seek a different route to bring back Dracula, Bride of Frankenstein, and all of the beloved horror icons.
Universal Studios decided to spruce up their lot with a tribute to several of their all time greats. Nothing says “monster” like a 50×200 foot mural dedicated to the most famous ghouls of all time, and street artist Tristan Eaton has really delivered on the Universal Studios lot! The prolific painter began his journey in mid-January, working from a boom lift nearly 25 feet in the air; and now he’s ready to unveil his work to the public.
The Hollywood Reporter documented Eaton’s work in their latest issue, and they featured several interesting facts about his newest project. Eaton says he went through about 40 cans of spray paint per day as he crafted beautiful testaments to Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Donna Langley, Universal’s film chairperson, said they chose spray paint for the project because the classic monsters, “were the outsiders, outcasts, rebels and outlaws of their time.” For Eaton, the massive image is a labor of love: “I’m working my butt off for this because I love it so much.” read more
We have sad news to report as Julie Adams passed away yesterday in Los Angeles, California at the age of 92. Adams swam her way into the heart of ever horror fan as Kay Lawrence in the 1954 Universal classic, Creature from the Black Lagoon. Adams played alongside Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Antonia Moreno, Ben Chapman, and Ricou Browning. The film is considered the final chapter in the original classic monster flicks hailing from Universal.
Born in Waterloo, Iowa on October 17, 1926 Adams moved to California at the age of 19 to pursue a career in acting. She landed her first role as a starlet in Paramount’s Red, Hot and Blue which debuted in 1949. She would go on to appear in Tickle Me, The Last Movie, Horizons West, The Mississippi Gambler, The Private War of Major Benson, and The Killer Inside Me. read more
On May 8th, 2017, I stood up on my Horror News Network soapbox and declared that, “Universal Monsters Fans Deserve Their Very Own La La Land.” In my article, I recapped the various factors which made La La Land such a tremendous success, and dreamed of a world where the same level of respect and considerations were given to the classic Universal Monsters we all love so dearly:
“…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
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
As detailed by HNN’s John Evan’s on Friday, The 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
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
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
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
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