Universal taps a new team to reboot its classic monster universe

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Jul 17, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT (Updated)

Universal Pictures has an ambitious new plan to reboot the world of Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy and friends, and they've found the guys to lead the way.

We've known for a while now that the studio's been eyeing a reboot of its classic monster franchises, particularly Van Helsing (who last appeared in the Hugh Jackman-starring flick 10 years back) and The Mummy (which last saw action in 2008's Tomb of the Dragon Emperor). As of last year, Star Trek and Transformers co-writers and longtime collaborators Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman were on board for the reboots, and Orci teased that they could be developing a "connected universe" of monster films similar to what Marvel Studios has done with superhero films. Since Orci and Kurtzman ended their film partnership earlier this year to work on separate projects, though, that particular development team is off the table. But the project isn't dead, so who's leading it now?

Deadline reported this week that Kurtzman is still attached to the project, and that he'll now be teaming with screenwriter Chris Morgan, who's scripted the last four installments, and the upcoming seventh entry, in the extremely lucrative Fast & Furious franchise for Universal. The two will act as "architects" of Universal's new and massive effort to "expand and unify a network of classic characters and stories." They won't just be revitalizing monster franchises like Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy, and the Wolfman. They'll be bringing them all together. 

According to the report, the project is still in the "early stages" of development, and while it's not clear if Kurtzman and Morgan will end up doing any screenwriting on the individual movies, they are meeting with talent to "put together an interconnected slate of monster films." They've also reportedly already got a release date for the film that will kick off this new effort: a reboot of The Mummy, set to be released on April 22, 2016. 

So, if the development of this rather hefty endeavour doesn't start to drag like it apparently did with Orci and Kurtzman, we could see the first in a new line of Universal Monsters flicks in less than two years, and if that's successful, big-budget monster rally flicks might not be far behind. What do you think? Are you ready for the classic monsters to get an update?

(Via Deadline)

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