Scream 6 directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin reveal whether their upcoming Universal Monsters film will kick off a new universe. Beginning in 1931 with Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, the Universal Monsters franchise (later known as Universal Classic Monsters) was a series of horror films which adapted many iconic monster characters for the big screen. The Universal Monsters include Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Mummy and the Invisible Man, the latter two of whom recently got movie reboots.
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Gillett and Bettinelli-Olpin have responded to whether or not their upcoming Universal Monsters movie project will kickstart a new universe for the classic franchise. Bettinelli-Olpin says that, much like their approach to Scream 5 and 6, this project will be completely standalone, while Gillett says the studio’s approach is a “weird, original way into a classic universe.” Read Bettinelli-Olpin’s full comment below:
We’re out here right now, we’re in Dublin, we’re hopefully starting to shoot in a few weeks, it’s very fast. It’s a Universal Monster movie and that, for us, is insane that we’re making a Universal Monster movie. We are, as the guys who brought you Scream 5 and 6, very much fans of original, standalone movies. Kids of the ’80s and ’90s, we miss that. Obviously, that’s not really where the world is right now, especially with studio movies, and that’s fine, because there’s other ways to do that.
And I think our approach is always, it sounds weird, but that’s our approach on Scream 5 and Scream 6 and that’s our approach on this one. Let’s make this original movie, it’s a standalone movie, there is a monster in it, that much is for sure. It’s Universal doing their thing, where they’re giving different filmmakers, ‘Here, take this and run with it.’ That, for us, is exciting as filmmakers to be going into making this movie. It’s also really exciting to watch other filmmakers put their stamp on something we know from growing up.
The Horrifying History of Universal Monsters Reboots
Though Gillett and Bettinelli-Olpin haven’t given away many details about the project, or about which monster their film will feature, this will not be the first modern reboot of the Universal Monsters franchise. An entirely new Universal Monsters franchise called the Dark Universe kicked off in 2017 with the Tom Cruise-led reboot The Mummy, with plans for several other films to tie into this new horror saga, including a Bride of Frankenstein film with Angelina Jolie and Frankenstein with Javier Bardem.
However, with The Mummy proving to be a critical and commercial dud, Universal scrapped its Dark Universe plans and returned to standalone projects with 2020’s The Invisible Man from Leigh Whannell. The film’s massive box office haul and critical acclaim assured the studio in their plans, moving forward with a Wolfman reboot starring Ryan Gosling and based on a story pitch from him that is still in the works, and an Invisible Man sequel.
While the newly-released film Renfield was also rumored to be a part of the Dark Universe, director Chris McKay confirmed that the film is a complete standalone, much like the upcoming project from Gillett and Bettinelli-Olpin. With Universal having seemingly abandoned the idea of an interconnected universe, they appear to be trying out several standalone films instead, meaning that a failure of one movie won’t affect others. Additionally, with Renfield having garnered mixed-to-poor reviews from critics, a brand-new, standalone approach to the Universal Monsters might just be the way to go.