Universal is really dedicated to their shared monster movie universe, which will start with the Tom Cruise reboot of The Mummy next year. The studio also has plans to bring in The Wolfman, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man and more. But with all of these monsters running around, it seems like someone would be wanting to kill them. It looks like that person will indeed be famed monster hunter Van Helsing.
Screenwriter Eric Heisserer recently did an interview with Cinema Blend. He is currently writing a new Van Helsing movie and during the course of the interview, it was revealed that the movie will be part of Universal's monster movie universe. Here is what he had to say.
"It is right now. This is early in the process, and it's evolutionary. I don't know if that's going to stay that way. But right now there is an absolute... there's some cartilage that links it to other pieces, like The Mummy."
As he mentions, things can definitely change but for the moment, Van Helsing will tie into this new batch of monster movies. This will not be a sequel to 2004's Hugh Jackman led Van Helsing movie, mind you. With that said, he will be more available for a big franchise since next year's Logan will be his last go as Wolverine in the X-Men universe. So if Universal wanted to give him another shot at it, they could. Hugh Jackman would definitely seem to fit the bill in terms of talent that the studio is going after for these projects. They could give him a mulligan like Fox did with X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Universal is still piecing this monster universe together but they are seemingly going after top-notch talent at every turn. First, they have Tom Cruise leading The Mummy next year, which will also feature an appearance by Dr. Jekyll, who is being played by Russell Crowe. Johnny Depp has also been cast to play the lead in the reboot of The Invisible Man. It is also rumored that Oscar winner Javier Bardem is being eyed for the new Frankenstein movie. That is a pretty impressive stable of talent. There has also been persistent chatter of Angelina Jolie being eyed for the Bride of Frankenstein. It was also recently revealed that Luke Evans version of Dracula from Dracula Untold may be coming back to reprise his role in these new connected monster movies.
While other studios are trying to cobble together some form of shared universe in order to chase the success that Marvel is enjoying, Universal may actually be chasing one that makes sense. There is plenty of precedent in the history of cinema for these monsters to crossover, so there is no reason to believe they can't make it work in the modern Hollywood landscape. Especially considering the caliber of talent they are courting for the various projects that will make up this monster universe.
Speaking of talent, Eric Heisserer has been on a pretty impressive run lately. He wrote the horror movie Lights Out which did very well for Warner Bros. earlier this year and was very well received by critics, which is a rarity in Hollywood for the genre. He also wrote the upcoming sci-fi thriller Arrival, which has been getting extremely positive, potentially Oscar-worthy buzz. Hopefully he can bring that level of quality to this new Van Helsing movie without having to bog it down heavily with jarring tie-ins to these other movies. As of right now there is no release date set for the Van Helsing movie, but if The Mummy does well next year, expect Universal to make several official announcements in regards to these monster movies.