Well, I've stated my case against Universal Monster remakes. But it doesn't mean hope is lost. Here's my two suggestions to Universal that might bring the monsters back on screen.
How to Save the Universal Monsters
My first suggestion to Universal is to just abandon any attempt to remake the flavor and feel of the originals. It just won't work, for all the reasons I mentioned earlier. So, instead of trying to fit major action sequences and effects moments into a Gothic setting, the studios should make the blockbuster most of the audience seems to crave.
This formula paid off in Universal's The Mummy remake. Now, like most horror fans, I was upset when I found out the remake had almost no connection to Boris Karloff's classic version. Yet, when viewed on it's own merit, the movie was an enjoyable roller coaster ride. Not a true horror film, but a fast paced action film with horror overtones.
This idea is not fool proof (I'm talking to you, Van Helsing) and will take the right approach and script to pull it off. And we horror fans will have to settle for a movie more based in action than scares. But, and it pains me to say this, I'd rather sit through another viewing of The Mummy remake or its sequel than The Wolf Man.
Now, the second option is my favorite, yet I doubt Universal will allow it to happen. But if they want a true remake of their classic films, they should turn the property over to someone who cares about horror movies.
The most obvious choice of directors is Guillermo del Toro. Cronos, The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth shows that he has a deep understanding of what makes a classic horror tale. You could argue that he's also the perfect choice for a more action oriented Universal Monster movie (as Hellboy illustrates), but I'd rather see Universal turn over a property like Frankenstein to del Toro and allow him to make a true horror film. It might be risky, but I think fans will get an Academy Award winning film that proudly proclaims itself as a horror movie.
While I don't think this will happen with Universal's blessing, it could become a reality. Del Toro is already talking about directing a version of Frankenstein, as the story is in the public domain. Universal holds the rights to its version of Frankenstein, not the original tale and I feel it would be better for Universal to hand the story over to someone like del Toro than try to beat his movie into the theaters with a action-centric version. Such a gamble will likely fail.
So, I still see some hope for the Universal Monsters returning to the big screen. It will just take the right director or the right script, depending on how the studio decides to approach the next remake. And, Universal studio heads, if you use any of my ideas, don't worry. It's my gift to you. I'm just honored you read my posts.
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