Behind The Scenes Photos from Classic Universal Monster Movies
Spearheaded by producer Carl Laemmle, Jr. and visionary makeup artist Jack Pierce, Universal Studios’ series of monster movies were responsible for giving the world of cinema its first true horror icons, laying the groundwork for all other iconic boogeymen to follow.
Beginning in 1925 with the Lon Cheney fronted silent horror classic The Phantom of the Opera, Universal Studios churned out a series of monster movies that were heavy in tension, suspense and atmosphere, setting the ominous mood and tone for each film by way of thick fog, classical music scores and towering gothic castles. Adapting the works of such prominent literary figures as Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and H. G. Wells, Universal effectively established itself as Hollywood’s ‘House of Horrors’ and continued its landmark series through the 1960s, the last of its original iconic monsters arriving in 1954 with Creature From the Black Lagoon.
Alex Kurtzman, director of The Mummy, has just confirmed that Universal will be adding The Hunchback of Notre Dame & Phantom of the Opera to its Dark Universe monster movie universe! Universal’s Dark Universe franchise consists of monster movies & kicks off with The Mummy, which hits theatres this week; the movie universe will also consist of The Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Invisible Man, Van Helsing, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera, & The Hunchback of Notre Dame! (Hunchback will be the dark version of the story, not the Disney version)
The Universal monsters are getting their redo in grand fashion — and with A-list actors — courtesy of the Dark Universe.
The shared world reviving legendary creatures from early Hollywood horror films — like the monster version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — now has an official name, which Universal Pictures announced Monday. Starring Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella and Russell Crowe, The Mummy (in theaters June 9) kicks off the Dark Universe, and Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem have boarded the franchise as the Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s Monster respectively (who will appear in future projects).
“We take enormous pride in the creativity and passion that has inspired the reimagining of Universal’s iconic monsters and promise audiences we will expand this series strategically,” Donna Langley, chairman of Universal Pictures, said in a statement.
In addition, Oscar-winning composer Danny Elfman is creating an original theme to accompany the Dark Universe logo that will open each film, and the series will continue next with Bride of Frankenstein, slated for release Feb. 14, 2019. No actress has been cast in the lead role yet but Bill Condon (Beauty and the Beast) is signed on to direct a screenplay by David Koepp.
“The Bride of Frankenstein remains the most iconic female monster in film history, and that’s a testament to (James) Whale’s masterpiece—which endures as one of the greatest movies ever made,“ Condon said.
The Mummy director Alex Kurtzman is on tap to oversee the Dark Universe alongside Koepp, producer Chris Morgan and filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible).
The franchise will revolve around Prodigium, a mysterious international organization led by Dr. Henry Jekyll (Crowe) with the aim of protecting the public from the knowledge of monsters in our world and committed to tracking, studying and (if needed) destroying them.
The Mummy will introduce Jekyll and Prodigium, plus Cruise as soldier of fortune Nick Morton and Boutella as the cursed title character.
The Zakus are neat, but I love seeing an ad for SD Horror World figures.
The Thing must have been pretty popular in Japan. And since when is The Fly called “flea man”? Why is Norman Bates just called “Psycho”? I also like how they danced around the legality of using Alfred Hitchcock’s likeness by calling him “Ojisan”.
I waited a long time for Funko to make these Universal Monsters Pop Vinyl figures! The girlfriend got them for me one Christmas. Older monster fans don’t seem to “get” these but I love the Pop figures and these are super cool. Would have loved an Invisible Man but oh well, I’m lucky they even made these. Interest in the old monsters seems to be dwindling.