Here are all 13 monster movies Universal currently have in the works
13 is unlucky for some, but they're already monsters, so it isn't like it can get much worse for them.
A few years back, Universal began work on the Dark Universe, amassing some of the biggest actors in the world for their big budget takes on some of the most famous movie monsters in history.
However, after the critical and commercial failures of Dracula Untold with Luke Evans and The Mummy with Tom Cruise, Universal wisely went back to the drawing board, and decided to try a new approach.
It began with 2020's The Invisible Man, a much-smaller budgeted affair, refocusing from big action sequences to incredibly tense horror, and what we got was one of the best scary movies on the last decade, plus it made decent bank before the pandemic put an abrupt end to cinema visits.
Seeing how successful that was, they've now adopted that direction for the other famous monsters in the Universal catalogue, getting some very interesting film-makers involved in no less than THIRTEEN projects.
The Bride of Frankenstein
Who is involved? David Koepp (writer)
What's the story? There was a time when Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) was lined-up to direct, with Angelina Jolie reportedly in the lead role, but that all fell apart once the Dark Universe was squashed. In June 2020, Koepp (writer of Jurassic Park and Panic Room) said that the new take on The Bride of Frankenstein would be heavily influenced by the success of The Invisible Man, with the plot to revolve around the modern-day desire to extend our lives.
Who is involved? Paul Feig (writer/director)
What's the story? This film has changed shape significantly since its inception, which originally was reportedly intended to be a big budget action movie featuring all of the headline monsters - Tom Cruise as The Mummy, Russell Crowe as Jekyl and Hyde, Johnny Depp as the Invisible Man, Javier Bardem as Frankenstein's Monster - but following the Dark Universe's makeover, it will no apparently be a much smaller production, but still featuring those monsters. Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy) told Collider that the script and its main character are among the favourites he's ever written.
Who is involved? Karyn Kusama (director), Jason Blum (producer)
What's the story? Reported to be a modern-day setting while still a faithful retelling of Bram Stoker's original Dracula story, all while being told from different perspectives, Kasuma (Jennifer's Body, The Invitation) will work with production house Blumhouse (The Invisible Man) on the project.
Dracula (yes, there are two Dracula movies in the works)
Who is involved? Chloe Zhao (writer/director)
What's the story? A very different take on the Dracula myth, this version will be a futuristic, sci-fi western, but also still very much about Dracula. Zhao (Nomadland, Eternals) said "I’ve always been fascinated by vampires and the concept of the Other they embody", so expect something unique from this one.
Who is involved? James Wan (producer)
What's the story? It is currently unclear if Javier Bardem is still involved in the project (IMDb says he might be), but what we do know is that Wan (The Conjuring, Insidious) is on board as a producer, and the plot will reportedly revolve around a group of teenagers who discover a neighbour in their area has attempting to create a living-dead monster in their basement.
The Invisible Man sequel
Who is involved? Leigh Whannell (writer/director), Jason Blum (producer), Elisabeth Moss (actor)
What's the story? After scoring 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, and making over $140 million on a $7 million budget, it should be no surprise that a sequel is in the works. Initially, all involved said the first movie was going to be a one-and-done, but as of July 2020, The Hollywood Reporter stated that Whannell was working on a sequel, but this isn't even the only Universal Monster Movie he's currently involved with...
The Invisible Woman
Who is involved? Elizabeth Banks (star/director)
What's the story? Apparently completely unrelated to The Invisible Man movie, Banks (Pitch Perfect, Charlie's Angels) will both star as and direct this sorta spin-off. The plot is still unknown, but the original 1940 version revolved around a woman who turned her new-found invisibility abilities to get revenge on the men who had wronged her.
Who is involved? Josh Cooley (writer/director)
What's the story? Oscar-winner Cooley (Toy Story 4) will direct this family-friendly take on the younger versions of the monsters, which is also said to be a "love letter to classic Hollywood and the history of film-making with a story that takes a multi-generational approach to the monsters and a more PG-rated, lighthearted family-friendly tone in the tradition of the classic 80s Spielberg films from Amblin Entertainment to match as well".
Who is involved? Matt Stawski (director)
What's the story? And now for something completely different: a monster musical, based around that famous title song, with Grammy Award-winning music video director Matt Stawski (Cee-Lo Green, Paramore, Fall Out Boy) making his feature debut here.
Who is involved? Dexter Fletcher (director)
What's the story? Yet another Dracula movie, but with Dracula more of a supporting character in this one, as his faithful man-servant Renfield slowly realises he's in a toxic, co-dependent relationship. Fletcher (Rocketman, Eddie the Eagle) will direct, with the script by one of the regular writers behind Rick & Morty.
Untitled Lord/Miller Project
Who is involved? Phil Lord (producer), Chris Miller (producer), Channing Tatum (star, producer)
What's the story? Lord and Miller, the geniuses behind The LEGO Movie, 21/22 Jump Street, and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse are working on this top secret project, with Tatum to star in the lead role, with Deadline reporting that it will be "a modern-day, tongue-in-cheek thriller, and "a bold genre reinvention of one of the studio’s most beloved characters from the Monsters Universe." Considering the list is already full with most of the other characters, the best leftover guesses are either The Mummy, or the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Who is involved? Julius Avery (director), James Wan (producer)
What's the story? Originally due to be directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White & The Huntsman) before he dropped out around the time the original Dark Universe line-up was ditched, Avery (Overlord) has signed on to take over the director's chair, with horror-maestro Wan on board as a producer. It is unclear if the legendary vampire-hunter will be set in the modern day, with all plot details being kept top secret.
Who is involved? Leigh Whannell (writer/director), Jason Blum (producer), Ryan Gosling (star/producer)
What's the story? Whannell and Blum re-team after the success of The Invisible Man for another monster movie, this time working with Ryan Gosling on a new take of the infamous Wolfman. Gosling also pitched the original take on the tale that the script is based on, with Variety reporting that the movie will take inspiration from Nightcrawler, but with a supernatural twist.