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Universal lends some clarity to their plans for a Classic Monster-Verse

11.17.2015

Ever since Universal announced plans to create some sort of shared cinematic universe among revitalized versions of their classic monsters, movie-lovers have wondered how in the hell they were intending to pull that off. How will these characters be portrayed? What's the connective tissue that brings them all together? What do you do with them once they are all together? Does anyone of this even make sense?

We've now gained a little more clarity about how Universal and their massive creative team tasked with pulling this off plan to approach the legendary material. Speaking to Variety, Donna Langley, chair of Universal Pictures explained that these characters will not be isolated and will show up in each others' films.

The characters will interact with each other across movies. We’re incubating it at the moment, and we’re taking the time to get it right.

Plans are for a new film in the universe to show up in theaters each year, starting with a new movie based on THE MUMMY that still appears to be sorting itself out creatively. Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan are leading the charge on how this all comes together and remain in the process of figuring out how to make all the pieces fit in this very complicated puzzle. Kurtzman elaborates on those challenges they face...

We’re creating a mythology, so we’re looking at this canon and thinking, ‘What are the rules?’ What can we break and what are the ones that are untouchable?

As for the tone of these pictures and the themes they're looking to explore, that's where things feel a little more confusing...

Heroes tend to be perfect, but most people in an audience aren’t ever going to know what it’s like to be the smartest, strongest or fastest person alive. But there’s a darkness inside everybody. And everyone wants to be able to turn a curse into empowerment. The monsters have been in the shadows, and now it’s time to bring them out into the light.

I get what they're going for in wanting the audience to identify and empathize with the monster, but can that actually be done within a shared universe? The reason that has worked in the past is because those characters ultimately turned into tragic figures. Granted, in the moment, they are horror icons, but the more you examine the world around them and the context of their existence, the more we see the cursed creatures they have become and the emotions that come with that. However, in using them to move from one picture to the next, does that resonate? Don't we have to see the tragedy all the way through in order for those themes to resonate? Otherwise, we're looking at a situation where we're exploring our own darkness by cheering for the monster, and I don't know that that's the way to go either.

Nevertheless, they are taking their time to try getting this all right. Whether they do or not remains to be seen.

THE MUMMY is still scheduled to be released on March 24, 2017.

Source: Variety

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