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SYFY WIRE Universal Monsters

WIRE Buzz: Toy Story 4 director raising Little Monsters; Monster Hunter delayed; more

By James Comtois & Vanessa Armstrong
Monster Hunter

First up in this monster-centric edition of WIRE Buzz, Universal continues to go full steam ahead with reviving its stable of classic movie monsters. In addition to having Dracula, Wolfman, and Bride of Frankenstein films in the works (following The Invisible Man's huge success), the studio now wants to make something for the kids. And who better to offer the world a family-friendly monster movie than the director of the Oscar-winning Toy Story 4

Per The Hollywood Reporter, Josh Cooley, who helmed the latest film in Pixar's Toy Story franchise, will write and direct Little Monsters, a live-action hybrid monster feature for Universal Pictures. Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman of Mandeville Films will produce.

Although the plot for Little Monsters is being kept under wraps, the film is being described as a “love letter to classic Hollywood and the history of filmmaking” for audiences of all ages. And apparently it has no connection to either the Fred Savage vehicle of the same name from 1989 or the 2019 zombie film starring Lupita Nyong'o and Josh Gad.

The project is based on the character designs of concept artist Crash McCreery, who worked on Jurassic World, Kong: Skull Island, and Rango. McCreery will executive-produce. 

The Invisible Man director Leigh Whannell is now working on a sequel to the hit film, as well as helming the studio's reimagining of The Wolfman starring Ryan Gosling.

Speaking of creature features, it looks like we’re going to have to wait until spring of next year to see Milla Jovovich battle exquisitely designed monsters. Various media outlets are reporting that Monster Hunter has been delayed to April 23, 2021. The film — based on the Capcom video game series that reunites the husband-and-wife team behind the Resident Evil franchise, director Paul W.S. Anderson and star Jovovich — was originally slated for a Labor Day weekend release on Sept. 4.

In Monster Hunter, Jovovich plays Lt. Artemis, leader of an elite unit of soldiers who find themselves in an alternate dimension full of deadly monsters. Once there, they try to stay alive and find a way back home, relying on the monster-killing skills of a hunter played by Tony Jaa. 

Anderson recently told Empire Magazine that the creature designs for Monster Hunter would have “even more detail than the dinosaurs of Jurassic World” and described the film as "Lawrence of Arabia ... but with monsters!"

Tip "T.I." Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung, and Ron Perlman also co-star.

Game developer Ubisoft officially admitted on Twitter that Breaking Bad and Mandalorian actor Giancarlo Esposito will star in Far Cry 6, the latest installment in the company’s popular game series, where each installment takes players to a dangerous, lawless, post-apacalyptic place where they must fight to gain control of an area from less-than-savory folks.

The announcement came a bit early from Ubisoft’s perspective; they were most likely planning to announce Esposito’s role as a CGI character named Anton at their July 12 virtual presentation, Ubisoft Forward. Leaks, however, have shown up all over the internet, causing the company to come clean just days before the planned announcement.

While we still don’t know a lot about Anton or Far Cry 6, it’s clear based on the Twitter teaser video above that the character will be a formidable one — which, of course, Esposito is accustomed to at this point.