Whenever someone thinks of a cinematic universe, the first example that comes to mind is the MCU. But Universal studios was making epic crossover movies all the way back in the 1940s, with such titles as House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula showing their list of monster icons clashing on the big screen. Now, filmmaker Paul Feig plans to resurrect that genre of monster mashup movies with Dark Army, which is set to feature classic Universal monsters and some new ones. In an interview with Collider, Feig affirmed his commitment to making the movie, even though the project will be very expensive.
“Oh, Dark Army. I love that project so much. I think the studio thinks it’s a little too expensive, perhaps. God as my witness, I’m gonna make that movie. I’m so obsessed with making that movie. One of the many reasons why I was drawn to doing this current Netflix [movie] is that there’s a lot of stuff I can work out in it, as far as effects and all that, that I can bring to Dark Army. I love it. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever written. It’s one of my favorite lead characters I’ve ever come up with. So, fingers crossed that we will make it someday.”
Before modern CGI allowed superheroes to finally appear on the big screen in all their glory, characters like Universal’s Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolfman, and the Mummy were the closest thing to superpowered beings that audiences got to see. In a past interview, Paul Feig had expressed his love for old-school monster horror movies, and his desire to follow in their footsteps with Dark Army.
“I’m a mega-fan of those old horror movies [directed by James Whale]. I call them more monster movies than horror movies, quite frankly. Horror movies to me now represent slasher and that kind of thing, which I don’t enjoy at all. I loved those old movies like Frankenstein. Bride of Frankenstein is probably one of the greatest movies of all-time. I love that movie so much, and there are some things from that movie that I’m using in this new movie Dark Army.”
But I really want to do a James Whale-ish, modern day version of a monster movie that is about these characters. What I love about monsters is they’re outsiders, it’s just the most extreme version of outsiders. Frankenstein is one of the most sympathetic characters ever to be put on the screen, even though he does terrible things. He’s just looking for acceptance and love. If you read Mary Shelley’s book he’s a pure spirit who becomes evil because he just gets shit on constantly. Everybody just can’t get past the way he looks, and it turns him murderous.”
Aside from Feig’s plans, Universal had its own ambitions to make the next blockbuster cinematic universe with the ill-fated “Dark Universe” franchise, which included movies like Dracula Untold and Tom Cruise’s The Mummy film. The Dark Universe was quietly retired after the movies failed to ignite the public’s imagination. It now remains to be seen if Feig’s enthusiasm will be enough to sway the studio to have another stab at an interconnected Universal Monsters. This news comes from Collider.