The New ‘Van Helsing’ Movie Will Be Part of Universal’s Monster Universe, Says Screenwriter
In their unending battle to compete with the box-office behemoth that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Universal tapped their deep roster of classic horror properties for interlocking remakes that could form one larger narrative tapestry. The recent Dracula Untold was intended to launch the Universal Universe, or whatever better thing they decide to call it, but lackluster ticket sales gave studio higher-ups pause. They’ve since redoubled their efforts, hiring Sofia Boutella to play their Mummy and Tom Cruise as the target of her curses, Russell Crowe as their Dr. Jekyll, Javier Bardem in the role of Frankenstein’s monster, and Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man. But even with such extensive plans already laid out, Universal continues to expand.
Cinema Blend sat down with screenwriter Eric Heisserer (the pen behind the upcoming — and ingeniously written — sci-fi drama Arrival) and grilled him about the rumors of a possible Van Helsing solo film, which he then confirmed. Overwriting the history of the Hugh Jackman-starring Van Helsing of 2004, a new actor with a new mythology to match will integrate the monster hunter of repute into the mix, jumping from his own solo picture to The Mummy and any number of other projects. Heisserer’s exact quote was as follows:
This is early in the process, and it’s evolutionary. I don’t know if that’s going to stay that way. But right now there is an absolute… there’s some cartilage that links it to other pieces, like The Mummy.
Van Helsing was a constant foe of both Dracula and the Wolfman, suggesting a connection to those eventual films. The real question, however, remains whether or not this new Van Helsing will have a hat as large and magnificently impractical as Jackman’s. There’s an old saying in the monster-hunting biz: the hat makes the man. Though Heisserer couldn’t put a timeline on the Van Helsing project’s development, Universal would do well to begin hat-scouting immediately.