Explanation of How Universal's New Monster Cinematic Universe is Different From the MCU
As you know, Universal Pictures is planning a whole new cinematic universe based on their classic monster movie franchise. This whole thing all starts with Tom Cruise's The Mummy and it will be followed by Johnny Depp's The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, Javier Bardem's Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Van Helsing, and more.
I figured that the whole plan was to interconnect these films much in the same way that Marvel is connecting all of their characters in their superhero films, but that's not the case. Universal has other plans for their monster universe and during an interview with Collider, producer Chris Morgan talks about this new slate of films and explains why he relates to these monster characters more than superheroes, saying:
"I think why people will love these monster films is the they are an homage to the originals, which means you’re gonna get complex characters. And the thing that I think is interesting about monsters is that they are always exaggerations of human attributes or human fears. For example, Frankenstein was a result of the kind of industrial and scientific revolution—are we playing God? Should we be playing God? And with the Wolfman there’s that worry of what happens if I lose control? What happens if I hurt the things around me that I love? There’s very human questions and worries and fears and darkness and cravings.
"We live in a world of superhero movies now—and by the way, I love them and I see them all and I have a great time, but I can’t identify with them as closely as I want to because I know I’ll never be perfect like that. Whereas the monster movies are saying that everybody has darkness in them, everyone has secrets and things they are ashamed of and don’t want to say or something that feels monstrous and dangerous about them. We’re just kind of embracing that and saying, ‘That’s ok.’ The films are just gonna be interesting, emotional, action-y, largely global sorts of films. I think The Mummy trailer sets up, in a really good way, kind of the tone of these films."
Morgan went on to say that they aren't going to try and force anything with these films. All of these monster movies are being developed more as standalone movies that will have bits of interconnected threads but not to the extent that Marvel has been doing.
“We kind of designed them all to be kind of standalone sorts of franchises that have kind of similar things between them. And as the scripts came in, then we started putting them in a, ‘Well this would be a good order. We reveal this here’ so now it really comes down to, again, it’s a studio decision on which film is coming out next. Just with all the films we’re working on, Bride of Frankenstein, Van Helsing, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Wolfman, Invisible Man, and on and on and on, it’s a real embarrassment of riches in terms of awesome, fun characters.”
I can see the films starting out as standalone movies like Iron Man and Captain America when Marvel first started their film franchise. Who knows, though, maybe sometime down the road if this monster movies prove to be successful we'll start seeing some of these monsters together in the same movie just like Universal used to do back in the day like with Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.
As a fan of the original Universal monster movies, these upcoming films have a lot to live up to. The Mummy hits theaters June 9, 2017.