Comments from a producer of Guillermo del Toro’s Frankenstein adaptation have ignited speculation that is likely a wee bit premature.
Universal has long been the studio that houses all of cinema’s best monsters but even it failed to get a shared universe up and running that would unite characters such as Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster. The studio’s Dark Universe project many years back had a splashy announcement, lots of A-list talent attached before quickly falling apart when the first film in the series, 2017’s The Mummy failed to connect with audiences.
As you likely know, Guillermo del Toro has quite the kinship with monsters and in one form or another, they regularly feature in his films. The Mexican director’s next project is Frankenstein, currently in pre-production and set to debut on Netflix. The cast of Andrew Garfield, Mia Goth and Oscar Isaac isn’t half bad either.
As the film moves towards production though, a comment by J Miles Dale, a producer on the film has caught the interest of the internet. Speaking to A Frame, Dale said about del Toro, “At one time, he was going to do the Monster Universe with Universal — Frankenstein’s Bride, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Invisible Man, The Wolf Man — and he didn’t. We feel like Shape of Water was kind of a version of a creature. So now, here he is doing his own Monster Universe.”
This has naturally led to speculation from some outlets that the director may follow Frankenstein with another inter-connected monster movie but as exciting as that sounds (and as much as Netflix would love to go with that, we imagine,) it doesn’t really sit neatly with comments del Toro himself has made of late. Only last month he talked about doing just a ‘couple more’ live action films before moving fully into stop motion animation and whilst he’s certainly entitled to a change of heart, we suspect this might be more to do with a misinterpretation of what ‘universe’ has come to mean in the lexicon of the film industry.
It’s easy to forget that not all universes have to be shared or interconnected and it’s more likely that Dale is talking about the thematic and tonal links between del Toro’s projects rather than a Marvel-style shared universe that will see the filmmaker make multiple films using the same characters.
Whilst such speculation is likely wide of the mark, Dale has clearly spent time talking with del Toro about his body of work, including projects yet to come and it seems like monsters are definitely the focus for the future. Could that mean that del Toro is planning to eventually get around to his ultimate monster movie, an adaptation of At The Mountains of Madness? (That may well be in animated form, but we’d love to see it.)
Either way, we’re very excited to see his take on Frankenstein and following that, perhaps it will become clearer what a del Toro ‘monsters universe’ actually looks like.
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