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“Their Universal Monsters Shared Universe effort holds promise, but remains to be seen how these re-imagined visions will stand up to the original classics.”
Oh that one’s easy: they won’t.
Universal tries this every so often, and it always tanks. Remember Van Helsing? Or the last Wolfman remake? They got some mileage out of The Mummy with Brendan Fraser, but there was definitely a sense of diminishing returns each time they did it.
Universal has been sitting on a goldmine with the classic monsters, but hasn’t had a clue what to do with them. These remakes might offer one or two half-decent films, but I would be surprised if it made any kind of workable series. In the mean time, they own the classic films and classic images of these iconic characters… Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman are Universal’s Mickey, Donald, and Goofy or Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Even people who have never seen the original movies know those images of those characters. They should be marketing the heck out of them. When Islands of Adventure was built there should have been a monster island with a Dracula haunted mansion and a Black Lagoon jungle cruise.
They’ve been trying to make a “revived brand” out of the Monsters ever since the 90’s, when Forrest Gump talking to JFK started a craze for “CGI resurrection” movies, and Universal was obsessed with remaking “Frankenstein vs. the Wolfman” with a CGI-resurrected Karloff and Chaney. (Yes, Karloff wasn’t in the original FvW, but…) Every 90’s Universal hit/flop, like the Mummies, Van Helsing and the Psycho remake was judged as to whether it was an official audience signal they were “ready” to make it.
Now, it’s all about Captain America envy, and like you say, Universal wants its own Mickey Mouse and Batman.
But there WAS NO freakin’ “female mummy” in the 1932 movie!
(And as for park marketing, what, you never went to the Monsters or Beetlejuice show at USF?)
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