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Exclusive: Jon Spaihts talks the Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe

11.02.2016by: Cody Hamman

The Mummy Sofia Boutella

Yesterday, Arrow in the Head managing editor Eric Walkuski conducted an interview with screenwriter Jon Spaihts, who has been attached to many genre projects in recent years. Spaihts's work includes the 2011 horror film THE DARKEST HOUR, Ridley Scott's PROMETHEUS, the upcoming sci-fi movie PASSENGERS, and this weekend's DOCTOR STRANGE, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Another cinematic universe that Spaihts has gotten involved with is the one that Universal Studios is building around their famous monsters. Spaihts is working on two Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe projects - director Alex Kurtzman's take on THE MUMMY, which stars Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, and Sofia Boutella and is set to be released next year, and a reboot of VAN HELSING. Of course, the fact that Spaihts is crafting stories for iconic horror characters did come up during the interview and we got some EXCLUSIVE quotes from the writer about what's going on the Universal Monsters world.

When asked whether or not THE MUMMY will be similar to either the original Boris Karloff film or Stephen Sommers' 1999 remake, Spaihts said

It pays homage to the original Karloff version, to be sure, and you'll see references there, but it is refreshing many things. By the time a monster makes it into kids cartoons and becomes a common Halloween mask, it's time to reclaim its original scariness, to inject some originality. Alex Kurtzman and I and the army of artists who labored to make the film have really found new ground upon which The Mummy can scare people."

There has been some back and forth about whether these new monster movies will be leaning more in the direction of horror or action. When asked about the horror/action balance in THE MUMMY, Spaihts answered

I call it horror adventure, I think it does both things."

Although the Universal Monsters were doing this shared universe thing even back in their heyday, the revival of this universe is clearly a reponse to the success of what Marvel has done with THE AVENGERS. So will the new Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe be like a monstrous AVENGERS?

I think in the best case scenario you will see a new universe of films being made, each with a deep mythology of its own, but one that allows those mythologies to intermingle across a wider franchise and will ultimately bring the heroes and villains of these stories into contact with one another."

We know that THE MUMMY is going to be in theatres on June 9, 2017, but we haven't heard of any time frame for VAN HELSING. How far along is that project?

VAN HELSING is very far down the road in terms of its story, and we're waiting to see how the film will be put together." 

Another film Spaihts has been attached to is the reboot of CUBE. He gave us an update on the status of that project as well, and you can read what he had to say about it HERE.

The Mummy Sofia Boutella

Extra Tidbit: Are you excited about the Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe?

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