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Universal Pictures is rebooting their original monsters in Dark Universe Movies: Van Helsing, Dracula, Bride of Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
The Mummy reboot release date was pushed back to June 24, 2016, when Universal announced the April 22 for its new film The Huntsman. The film's plot is set in Iraq and follows a Navy Seal and his team that battle Mummies led by Ashurbanipal. In October 2013, Orci has spoken to IGN, hinted that both The Mummy and Van Helsing reboots will have a Shared Universe.
Universal Pictures is rebooting their original Universal Monsters in Dark Universe Movies: Van Helsing, Dracula, Bride of Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Hunchback of Notre-Dame, and Phantom of the Opera.
Universal announced that it would be reviving its monster characters under its shared universe Dark Universe, starting with the 2017 film The Mummy.
Universal Monsters or Universal Horror is a phrase used to describe the horror, suspense and science fiction films made by Universal Studios during the decades of the 1920s through the 1950s. They began with The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, both silent films starring Lon Chaney. Universal continued with talkies including monster franchises Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon. The films often featured Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney, Jr.
- Phantom of the Opera
- Edgar Allan Poe
- Invisible Man
- Werewolf / Wolf Man
- Paula, the Ape Woman / Gorilla Girl
- Inner Sanctum Mysteries
- Abbott & Costello
- Gill Man / Creature from the Black Lagoon
In 1923, Universal produced the drama The Hunchback of Notre Dame, starring Lon Chaney as Quasimodo. The production sets were built to evoke 15th-century Paris, including a re-creation of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral. Chaney stars as The Phantom in 1925's horror film, The Phantom of the Opera, based on the mystery novel by Gaston Leroux. The interior of the Opéra Garnier was recreated to scale and was used again in the 1943 remake with Claude Rains.
In 1931, Bela Lugosi starred in Universal's Dracula and Boris Karloff in Frankenstein. Actors Dwight Frye and Edward Van Sloan, who played major supporting roles in both films, made several film appearances in this decade. Make-up artist Jack Pierce created several monsters' make-up starting in the 1930s.
The Mummy, starring Karloff, was produced in 1932. This was followed by a trilogy of films based on the tales of Edgar Allan Poe: Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) starring Lugosi, The Black Cat (1934), and The Raven (1935), the latter two of which teamed Lugosi with Karloff. Universal began releasing sequels including Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Dracula's Daughter (1936) and sequels for The Invisible Man (1933). The first mainstream werewolf picture, Werewolf of London (1935) starring Henry Hull, was not a box office triumph despite being revered by audiences today.
The end of Universal’s first run of horror films came in 1936. The monster movies were dropped from the production schedule altogether and would not re-emerge for another three years. In the meantime, a theatre owner revived Dracula and Frankenstein as a resoundingly successful double feature, prompting the studio to re-release the original movies. Son of Frankenstein (1939), starring Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, and Bela Lugosi, was filmed as a result of the unexpected resurgence.
During the 1940s, Universal released The Wolf Man (1941), with Lon Chaney, Jr. The junior Chaney became the studio's leading monster movie actor in the 1940s, just as his father had been two decades earlier, supplanting the 1930s' Karloff and Lugosi by a wide margin in terms of the number of leading roles that he played. Chaney, Jr. physically resembled his father apart from usually being somewhat overweight, which the senior Chaney never was. The studio dropped the "Jr." from the junior Chaney's billing almost immediately to confuse some in the audiences into assuming that this was the same actor. In 1943, the studio created a remake of Phantom of the Opera, this time starring Nelson Eddy and Susanna Foster with Claude Rains as the Phantom.
The Frankenstein and Wolf Man series continued with The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), in which Chaney, Jr. played Frankenstein's monster and Lugosi reprised his role as Ygor, and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) with Lugosi as the Frankenstein monster and Chaney, Jr. as the Wolf Man. Son of Dracula (1943) featured Chaney, Jr. in Lugosi's original role as the Count. The Mummy series was also continued with The Mummy's Hand (1940), The Mummy's Tomb (1942), The Mummy's Ghost and The Mummy's Curse (both 1944) with Chaney, Jr. as the Mummy in the last three films. House of Frankenstein (1944) and House of Dracula (1945) featured many of the monsters from the studio's previous films. As the decade drew to a close, the comedy Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) features Lugosi in his second movie as Count Dracula, starring alongside Chaney, Jr. as Larry Talbot (the Wolf Man), and Glenn Strange as Frankenstein's monster.
Abbott and Costello appeared in films featuring characters such as the Mummy and the Invisible Man. Creature from the Black Lagoon, directed by Jack Arnold, was released in 1954. Dracula and Frankenstein were re-released as double features in theatres, and were later broadcast in syndication on American television in 1957 as part of the Shock Theater package of Universal Monster Movies. Magazines such as Famous Monsters of Filmland covered the monster films. Universal spent the last half of the decade issuing a number of one-shot monster films.
The Mummy & Scorpion King (1999-2015)
Universal Horror Mummy (1932–1955)
Hammer Horror Mummy (1959-1971)
- The Mummy (1959)
- The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964)
- The Mummy's Shroud (1967)
- Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971)
Monster Force (1994)
Monster Force was a 13-episode animated television series created in 1994 by Universal Cartoon Studios and Canadian studio Lacewood Productions. The story is set in approx. 2020 and centers on a group of teenagers who, with help of high tech weaponry, fight off against classic Universal Monsters and spiritual beings threatening humanity. Some of the crew have personal vendettas (e.g., one has the "curse of the Wolfman" that has been handed down through generations and another had a family member taken away from her by Dracula), while others fight for Mankind out of a sense of altruism. The series aired in syndication alongside another Universal animated series, Exosquad. Universal Studios Home Entertainment released the first 7 episodes to DVD on September 15, 2009.
The Mummy: Animated Series (2001)
The Mummy: The Animated Series is an animated series produced by Universal Cartoon Studios to capitalize on the success of The Mummy. It premiered on Kids' WB! On The WB network on September 29, 2001. It is set sometime between 1920 and 1934. It was retooled and rechristened The Mummy: Secrets of the Medjai for its second season, which began on February 15, 2003. The show was cancelled on June 7, 2003. Reruns of the show aired on Toon Disney.
Stephen Sommers Mummy (1999-2008)
In 1999, Stephen Sommers wrote and directed a remake of The Mummy, loosely based on the original film of 1932. This film switches genres from the emphasis on horror to adventure, concentrating more on action sequences and effects, and a higher element of Egyptian lore. The film became a box office success spawning two sequels and a canceled fourth film, a spin-off series, and an animated television series. The first two films received mixed reviews, while third film received mostly negative reviews.
The Mummy opened on May 7, 1999, and grossed $43 million in 3,210 theaters during its opening weekend in the United States; the film went on to gross $416 million worldwide. The box-office success led to a 2001 sequel, The Mummy Returns, as well as The Mummy: The Animated Series, and the spin-off film The Scorpion King. Seven years later, the third installment, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, opened on August 1, 2008. Universal Pictures also opened a roller coaster, Revenge of the Mummy, in 2004. Novelizations of the film and its sequels were written by Max Allan Collins.
- The Mummy (1999). It is the year 1923 and Richard “Rick” O'Connell, an American explorer, has discovered Hamunaptra, the city of the dead. Three years later, O'Connell returns to the site with a beautiful librarian, Evelyn 'Evie' Carnahan and her brother, Jonathan. When Evie accidentally revives the mummified corpse of an Egyptian priest, Imhotep, the pair must find a way to kill him before he rises back into power and destroys the world.
- The Mummy Returns (2001). It is the year 1933 and Rick O'Connell and Evelyn Carnahan are married with an 8 year-old son, Alex. When Alex triggers a curse and Imhotep is resurrected, Rick and Evie must once again try to save the world and defeat the mummy.
- The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008). Set in 1946, the movie continues the adventures of Rick O'Connell, his wife Evie, and his son Alex against a different mummy, the Dragon Emperor (Jet Li) of China.
The Scorpion King (2002–2014)
- The Scorpion King (2002)
- The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior (2008 Prequel)
- The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption (2012)
- The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power (2015)
The Mummy vs Van Helsing (2020)
After Tomb of the Dragon Emperor was released, actress Maria Bello stated that another Mummy film will "absolutely" be made, and that she had already signed on. Actor Luke Ford was signed on for three films as well.
On April 4, 2012, Universal Studios announced that they are developing a reboot of the series, with Jon Spaihts to write the film and Sean Daniel who produced the three films, will be returning as producer. On May 1, 2012, Universal signed on with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman a two-year deal to produce the Mummy reboot through their K/O Paper Products banner. On September 24, 2012, it was announced that Universal has set Len Wiseman to direct the film.
In December 2012, it was being said that The Mummy reboot will be different from the classic trilogy, it'll be a completely new take on the mythology, and it will be set in present day. On February 14, 2013, Universal set The Hunger Games' writer Billy Ray to write a competitive draft for the Mummy reboot against Spaiths's written script. On July 31, 2013, director Wiseman has left the film project due of schedule conflicts.
On September 13, 2013, news reported that Mama's director Andres Muschietti is in talks to direct the film. In October 2013, Orci has spoken to IGN, hinted that both The Mummy and Van Helsing reboots will have a Shared Universe.
On November 27, 2013, Universal has set the film for an April 22, 2016 release. On May 6, 2014, director Muschetti left the film due to creative differences, which Spaihts wrote the latest draft of the script, which reimagined The Mummy in modern day with new characters not seen in previous iterations and a protagonist imbued with a human personality.
On July 16, 2014, Universal announced that they had tapped Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan to develop all classic movie monsters which include Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, and The Mummy. The first film they will develop together will be The Mummy, for which they had begun the meetings. So on July 30, Kurtzman was set to direct the film.
Next day, the film's release date was pushed back to June 24, 2016, when Universal announced the April 22 for its new film The Huntsman. The film's plot is set in Iraq and follows a Navy Seal and his team that battle Mummies led by Ashurbanipal.
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