Universal’s plans to reintroduce a new generation of moviegoers to its back catalogue of classic beasties have been met with mixed opinion. Initial press releases described the planned movies as action-adventure with no references to their cinematic heritage – horror. Understandably so, fans vocalized their upset at the studio’s proposed reboot remaining in line with the 1999 take on The Mummy. A fun romp? Yes. Scary? Not so much.
By the looks of things, there was a degree of miscommunication in that earlier statement. At the Television Critics Association Press tour, Alex Kurtzman – who is overseeing the entire Monsterverse with Roberto Orci – addressed those concerns during a chat with the folks at Collider:
“I think there was some lost in translation quality to the way it was received, because I promise you there will be horror in these movies. It is our life goal to make a horror movie. The tricky part is actually how you combine horror with either adventure or suspense or action and be true to all the genres together.
In some way, Mummy, dating all the way back to the Karloff movie, was the first to do that. It was the first to combine horror with — I wouldn’t say action, but certainly a lot of suspense. So it’s more about how you blend the different elements and stay true to each one, but there will definitely be horror in the monster movies…We will hopefully serve it up good and plenty.”
The current movie landscape is packed with cinematic universes, all vying for the attention and cash of audiences, which is why Universal’s library of properties has a unique selling point. It’s steeped in horror. More than that, it’s mainstream horror. Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Creature From The Black Lagoon — they’re all icons that the general public can identify. This type of built-in recognition almost guarantees an easier ride when it comes to marketing the eventual slew of movies. By the sounds of Kurtzman’s response, Universal is approaching its forthcoming series of movies with an eye to capturing both the scares and the action.
Kurtzman’s The Mummy is currently targeting a March 24, 2017 release, after a push back from summer 2016, with an as-yet untitled monster movie on the schedule for March 30, 2018.