The Mummy

Monster Squad Monsters

Remember when Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Mummy, Wolf Man and the rest of the classic Universal Monsters were horror characters? Then 80 years worth of cheesy sequels and mash-ups and merchandising watered them all down to the point where they couldn’t even scare a baby. Hollywood has tried different ways to make them relevant for modern audiences, including attempts at grittier takes on the literary sources, blockbuster versions with lots of action and special effects and animated features starring the voices of Adam Sandler and friends. These have each only kept the creatures as corny as ever. They’re never going to be the stuff of nightmares again, so the question is whether they’ll ever be as cool as they once were. Or even cooler? What if the classic movie monsters were suddenly as hip as the Fast and Furious movies became after the franchise was refueled with high-octane entertainment value following the fourth installment? Unfortunately, a dash of Dwayne Johnson isn’t going to cut it here. He already sort of contributed to the quick ruin of the last Mummy reboot. Never mind that that was before he reenergized his own movie career. The alternative might be the reported hire of screenwriter Chris Morgan for the job of penning the studio’s previously announced super-franchise for its Halloween costume favorites. He’s the guy who wrote all the Fast and Furious sequels from Tokyo Drift onward. It took him a couple installments to really reveal the awesome potential, but he found new life in what had initially seemed […]

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PetSemetary

With this weekend’s A Fantastic Fear of Everything, Simon Pegg stars as Jack, a children’s book author who becomes obsessive and paranoid about death and murder — even when there’s nothing at all to worry about. While Jack is an adult who can’t cope with the real world because of his obsessions, it’s more often the kids who are deemed the scaredy cats due to their irrational fears. Maybe that has a little to do with sneaking scary movies bright and early? It’s a rite of passage, really, that happens when Dad is snoring on the other side of the couch and the remote is blissfully, blessedly unattended for once. That’s right; it’s time to steal that remote and secretly switch the channel to the scariest programming possible. Nightmares be damned, you’re nine years old and you have living to do, man! Trying to watch horror movies (and just plain fear-themed films) before the appropriate age comes from a specific scientific combination of attempting to appear more grown-up and the innate desire that exists within all of us to do the opposite of whatever our parents say. When the lights go out and the moms are out of sight, it’s time to see exactly how brave you can be when facing down Freddy Krueger. As tough and gallant as we might fancy ourselves as children – and this especially applies if we’re literally talking about us, little movie buffs in the making – there are just some films you just really […]

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monstersquad

Ever since Marvel Studios blew past the billion dollar mark by getting all of their various protagonists together and teaming them up in a big crossover movie, The Avengers, every other studio out there has been clamoring to find a way to recreate that success. Whether that’s Sony looking to build to a Sinister Six movie through their Amazing Spider-Man franchise, Warner Brothers looking to build to a Justice League movie through their Man of Steel franchise, or Fox looking to bring their two disparate X-Men franchises together with Days of Future Past, the message seems to be the same: team-up movies are the new go-to. The truth is, crossing over different properties in order to create big team-up movies is nothing new though. Universal was doing it with their popular monster characters all the way back in the 40s with things like 1943’s Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, 1944’s House of Frankenstein, or even the 1948 comedy Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. These movies took classic characters like Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein’s monster, kept the original actors who made them famous where possible, and threw them all together into one adventure that kept the properties fresh in ways that more solo films couldn’t. It was a good strategy then, and The Avengers shows that it’s still a good strategy now, so it’s looking like Universal is getting ready to go back to it.

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muschietti

Universal has been making money off of its monster franchises for about as long as movies have existed, so there was never any question as to whether or not we’d eventually get another reboot of The Mummy. There was definitely a huge question surrounding what another crack at The Mummy would look like though. Would it be a moody, fairly contained film like the Boris Karloff-starring original from 1932? Or a big budget adventure tale like those Brendan Fraser-starring films from the late 90s and early 2000s? Well, when it was announced that Total Recall reboot and Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman was going to be in charge of the project around a year ago, it seemed inevitable that it was going to be much more a case of the latter, and people were not happy. Who the heck wants to see a glossy, generic movie about an ancient, withered creature, after all? But, thankfully for everyone, Wiseman’s stay with The Mummy franchise was short-lived, and now it’s looking like a director who could give us something much closer to the former is being recruited to come on board and save the day.

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Universal Classic Monsters

It takes some bravado to call something “The Essential Collection,” but Universal, over the course of its 100-year history, has basically written the rule book on monster movies, so a bringing together of their classic monsters under one Blu-ray box should be given a bit of slack. Not that it needs the slack, as the set is filled to the brim with good stuff for horror fans. Between the years of 1931 and 1954, Universal Studios produced some of the most iconic and influential horror films in the history of cinema, based on some of the most influential spooky stories in history. It began with Carl Laemmle Jr., the son of Universal founder Carl Laemmle, whose passion for literature and enthusiasm for seeing these great stories brought to life yielded two box office hits in 1931 with Dracula and Frankenstein. Even years after Laemmle had lost control of the studio, the legacy he forged lived on. These films would go on to inspire generations of film lovers and film makers, many of whom are still scaring us today. To celebrate in 2012, the year of the 100th birthday of Universal, we fans have been given this Universal Classic Monsters Blu-ray release, a celebration of the original eight, the most popular and iconic of the bunch. Many have been retold, rebooted and remade, but the originals still stand the test of time, from Bela Lugosi’s glowing eyes to Millicent Patrick’s iconic design for the Creature from the Black Lagoon, they are the forefathers of […]

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Len Wiseman

If auteur theory is in full effect, Len Wiseman is an enigma. It’s easy to spot his work because it’s all the same, but it’s difficult to spot his work because he’s so hollow and generic. So how else would he make a reboot of The Mummy? According to Deadline Hollywood, Wiseman (Underworld, Total Recall (2012)) will be bringing his signature style to the upcoming franchise do-over from Universal. No doubt it’ll be covered in a gun metal gray patina and star Kate Beckinsale. The script comes from Jon Spaihts, whose made a name for himself with The Darkest Hour and work on Prometheus. The whole project is being overseen by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who must have some sort of time device that gives them twice the amount of normal hours in a day for the sheer amount of productions they’re taking on. Both have explained the concept of the Mummy would be brought into modern times, but it’s unclear whether that means that it’ll take place in the present or if the style will reflect an update even if it’s still set in the past. No word yet on how they’ll work in skintight latex into the costuming choices.  

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, we’ve got like 610,000 words in this article, without actually typing any words! Ain’t the internet the greatest? Take a peek at what we thought was the coolest stuff around on Thursday and then dive into our expanded gallery! Above: Some characters from Hotel Transylvania. We found these two weirdos wandering around the floor and had to say hi. The Mummy is looking pretty righteous!

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Universal Monsters Blu-ray

Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Dracula, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera, The Mummy and The Creature From The Black Lagoon are finally all together on Blu-ray. Universal will be releasing a massively awesome set called “Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection” on October 5th, and there are a ridiculous amount of extra features in addition to the horror flicks. Production photos, behind-the-scenes stuff, trailers, tributes to Jack Pierce and Lon Chaney, Jr. That’s the tip of the horror iceberg (which is also the name of the script I just finished. Call me, Asylum). The movies have been together on DVD before with a decent collection of features, but this Blu-ray collection seems absolutely stunning. A big upgrade for true classics. Plus, there are books involved! Everyone loves reading. The big question is…at a pre-sale price of $112, is this a necessary upgrade or a dreamy luxury?  

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It’s easy to have a knee-jerk reaction to news of remakes and reboots because most film-goers would prefer to see original material hitting the screen. And yes, most reboots are unecessary cash-grabs that ultimately pale beside the original. But sometimes you need to pause, take a breath and take a look at the details. Variety is reporting that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are developing a reboot of Van Helsing with Tom Cruise attached in the title role. (Cruise has actually been circling the project since 2010 when Guillermo del Toro was toying with the character.) It’s part of the duo’s new two-year deal with Universal where they’ll also be overseeing a reboot of The Mummy. Note the common thread of director Stephen Sommers’ past films which means a reboot of Deep Rising can’t be far behind. So the bad news is that they’re remaking an absolutely terrible movie that’s only eight years old. And the good news? They now have the chance to get it right.

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Universal’s classic movie monsters have always been an important part of their history, and a profitable part of their stable of trademarks. Normally they don’t let too many years go by without making a movie featuring a the wolfman, Frankenstein’s monster, or a mummy. So, it should probably come as no surprise that they’re currently looking for ways to further extend their Mummy franchise, the latest incarnation of which started with Stephen Sommers’s 1999 film that starred Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. Variety reports that they’re looking to do a reboot of the whole franchise, and in order to get things started, they’ve hired writer Jon Spaihts to come up with a script. Spaihts isn’t really a widely known name as of yet, but considering he’s got a co-writing credit on Ridley Scott’s upcoming project that’s set in the Alien universe, Prometheus, that’s probably going to change pretty quickly.

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With Furry Vengeance hitting theaters, Jeremy Kirk explores the possibility that there are two Brendan Fraser’s working in Hollywood while highlighting some of his (or their) finer work.

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BanksLiTherouxMortonCasting

Casting announcements shoot across the net almost every day, but not every announcement, rumor, or speculation deserves its own post. Of course we’d be remiss in our duties as the web’s premier source of movie news, reviews, and snark if we didn’t cover them in some fashion… so welcome to the Casting Net!

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Brendan Fraser: The Topic of Boiling Point

Resident Rage-addict Robert thinks critics soften the blows of to ‘popular’ casts and hammer away at ‘easy targets’ and he’s upset as always.

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Yetis rule in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor!

In a weird, roundabout way, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is a lot like the old “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” Christmas special.

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