The Universal monster revival continues. After failing miserably with the interconnected Dark Universe, Universal has bounced back with The Invisible Man and plans for future standalone films. The latest entry is an untitled Unititled Monster Project being developed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Details are vague for the moment, but we do know that the film will reunite Lord and Miller with 21 Jump Street Star Channing Tatum.
Deadline has the scoop on the Untitled Monster Comedy coming from Universal and Phil Lord and Chris Miller, with Channing Tatum set to star. The film is said to be “a modern-day, tongue-in-cheek thriller inspired by Universal’s classic monster legacy with Tatum set to star.” That makes it sound like something akin to Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and I am here for it. Deadline adds that “the project is a bold genre reinvention of one of the studio’s most beloved characters from the Monsters Universe.”
The idea for the flick came from Magic Mike writer Reid Carolin, and Wes Tooke (Midway) is handling the script. Lord and Miller will produce for their Lord Miller production banner along with Tatum, Carolin, and Peter Kiernan, who will produce through their Free Association banner. Lord Miller’s Aditya Sood is also producing.
This is just the latest in a series of upcoming Universal movies meant to revisit the classic Universal Monsters. Once upon a time, Universal had big plans for a Marvel-like series of connected films under the Dark Universe banner. But things got off to a rocky start with The Mummy in 2017. That Tom Cruise flick did not do the box office numbers Universal was hoping for. And while they tried to forge ahead with a new take on Bride of Frankenstein from director Bill Condon. They eventually pulled the plug.
However, Universal didn’t give up. They got back into the monster biz with Leigh Whannell’s excellent Invisible Man. That film was a hit, and since its release, Universal has forged ahead with several other monster-related titles. There’s Invisible Woman from director Elizabeth Banks (despite the title, it’s not related to Whannell’s Invisible Man); then there’s the Dracula spin-off Renfield from director Dexter Fletcher; Paul Feig’s Dark Army, which is said to feature classic Universal monsters; The Monster Mash, which we don’t really know a whole lot about; an untitled project from James Wan; and a new take on The Wolfman starring Ryan Gosling and directed by Invisible Man filmmaker Leigh Whannell.
The one thing all these movies have in common is that they have nothing in common. And that’s a wise choice. Rather than try to manufacture their own cinematic universe, Universal is instead making monster movies that stand on their own.