As we’ve seen plenty of times in the past, just because one of the major Hollywood studios fails spectacularly at something, that doesn’t mean they won’t try it again. After torpedoing two Spider-Man franchises by getting too heavily involved, Sony are hoping that third time turns out to be the charm when it comes to building a shared universe of comic book blockbusters around their most marketable assets.
The 21st Century has also been characterized by Universal trying to reinvent their stable of classic monsters as the stars of big budget effects-driven movies, but every single one them following 2001’s The Mummy Returns was a massive disappointment. The latest approach to create filmmaker-driven stories on a smaller scale in the vein of The Invisible Man is a much smarter move, but it could still lead to overkill with Eternals director Chloe Zhao’s futuristic sci-fi Western version of Dracula becoming the twelfth Universal Monsters project to enter active development in the last few years alone.
Van Helsing, The Wolfman, Dracula Untold and Tom Cruise’s The Mummy may have all flopped, but we’ve nonetheless heard from our sources – the same ones who told us Universal’s Fast & Furious 9 would be heading into outer space long before it was confirmed – that the studio are once again considering producing a slate of epic horror movies with budgets of at least $100M, although not all of them will revolve around the familiar icons of the genre that they’ve been so desperate to reboot.
Further details on what they have planned remain unclear, but even before the Dark Universe imploded, nobody was invested in the idea of mega budget horror, and not much has changed in that regard. Not only that, but Universal‘s highest-grossing title ever to incorporate elements of the genre is Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, which was released 46 years ago. If they haven’t managed to better that tally in almost half a century, then throwing more money at the problem clearly isn’t the solution.