John Landis on the new DARK UNIVERSE of Monsters
Although this article ‘chere assures us that the legendary Director, responsible for a little film called AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON as well as Michael Jackson’s THRILLER video, among numerous other films, “bashed” Universal’s new DARK UNIVERSE of planned films, his criticisms weren’t actually that harsh. In addition, he was spot-on, for the most part. Said Landis: “[This] is not a new idea. If you remember with Universal back in the ’40s, once they made all their classics, they started cross-pollinating. House of Dracula, House of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf-Man…” He’s right. We all know that. Universal is simply trying to do it AGAIN. Landis continued: “And then of course, one of the great ironies is what was considered, okay, it’s over now!, was Abbot & Costello Meets Frankenstein, which is actually a very funny movie and very respectful of the monsters. I think, y’know, maybe that’s one of the problems with Universal’s Dark Universe is that it isn’t respectful of the monsters.”
In all fairness, we’ve only seen ONE movie in the Dark Universe stable, so it’s hard to pronounce that the forthcoming films will or will not be respectful. I get what he’s saying, though.
Landis added: “What’s happening is the studios now will make a film for $150, $200 million but they’re afraid to take risks. You asked me about the Dark Universe; if you’re gonna make a movie of THE MUMMY, why the f@#$ do you need Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe?! As soon as you announce that Tom Cruise is in [it] you know you’re not going to see a Horror picture…it’s going to be the Tom Cruise Show.” Which was my one primary complaint with the new MUMMY picture. We don’t NEED guys like Cruise. The MONSTERS are the stars. I join with Landis in hoping that the studio will recognize that fact.