Universal’s roster of classic monsters are always being reinvented and updated for modern audiences, as evidenced by the fact that right now there are no less than four separate movies in the works revolving around the Dracula mythos, but for some reason Creature from the Black Lagoon has been the hardest nut to track.
Following the implosion of the misguided Dark Universe at the very first hurdle, and the subsequent success of Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man, the studio are now refocusing their attempts to continue leveraging the back catalogue of Gothic horrors as the subjects of smaller, more filmmaker-driven projects.
And yet, for almost 40 years any attempts to remake Creature from the Black Lagoon have stalled in development, despite such big names as John Landis, John Carpenter, Ivan Reitman and Guillermo del Toro all taking a crack over the decades. In a social media post, James Gunn revealed himself to have pitched a new spin on the story in the aftermath of scripting Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake, but he was knocked back by Universal, as you can read below.
“I tried to do Creature of the Black Lagoon right after Dawn of the Dead, but they didn’t want me to do it.”
At the time, the future Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad director was still best known for writing the live-action Scooby-Doo movie, and was yet to make his feature debut behind the camera, so you can understand why Universal would be reluctant to hand the 2004 version of James Gunn the reins to the project.
Of course, they’d no doubt bite his hand off if he offered to do it now, but The Walking Dead co-creator Robert Kirkman recently teased that he’s eying Creature from the Black Lagoon as a potential Robert Rodriguez collaboration.