After a difficult few years, it seems like Universal’s roster of classic monsters are finally making a genuine comeback. The studio’s decision to reinvent some of their most iconic characters as the stars of big-budget, action-orientated blockbusters failed spectacularly at the first hurdle, with the box office disappointment and critical bashing that faced The Mummy proving that Universal had made a huge error in trying to run long before they could walk.
In an attempt to hurriedly establish their own version of Marvel’s wildly successful shared universe formula, the ill-fated Dark Universe roped in the likes of Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Angelina Jolie, Javier Bardem and Johnny Depp in an effort to use A-list talent to appeal to modern audiences, but the entire franchise was quietly abandoned after the creative team realized they had bitten off much more than they could chew.
Instead, the Universal Monsters went back to the drawing board, and are now being approached in an entirely different manner. Saw co-creator Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man is first out of the gate at the end of this month, and there are several other interesting-sounding projects in the works including Paul Feig’s Dark Army, a Monster Mash musical and rumors of John Krasinski potentially being involved with The Bride of Frankenstein.
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The focus on less expensive, filmmaker-driven projects is a much better way of adapting characters that have been around for decades, if not centuries, and re-tooling them for the present day, and now sources close to We Got This Covered have told us that a member of Hollywood’s A-list is attached to one of Universal’s upcoming monster flicks.
Our sources – the same ones who said Han was set to return to the Fast and Furious franchise, and also tipped us off as far back as last summer that Disney were working on a live-action Bambi remake – say that Ryan Gosling is reportedly set to star in one of Universal’s in-development monster movies. Though as of yet, it’s unclear which one.
The 39 year-old has established a reputation as one of the most talented and versatile actors working today, and it would be as easy to imagine him headlining Feig’s Dark Army as it would to see the La La Land star belt out some more tunes in Monster Mash. Indeed, tying down someone of Gosling’s caliber would be a huge way of establishing that the Universal Monsters are back in a big way and as soon as we learn which film it is he’s attached to, we’ll be sure to let you know.