Alex Kurtzman Gives Updates on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 3, SINISTER SIX, and VENOM; Talks Universal Monster Universe Plans

by     Posted 156 days ago

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While producer/writer/director Alex Kurtzman was at the CBS portion of the TCA Press Tour for his latest TV venture Scorpion, it provided an opportunity to catch up with him about some of the projects he currently has in various stages of development in the film world.

During an interview with Collider and a couple of other outlets, talk went to the building of a Monster Universe with the classic movie monsters, which he’s kicking off with The Mummy, that he’d be honored if Guillermo del Toro wanted to get involved with Frankenstein, once they get to that stage, his big picture view of the Monster Universe, and how some monsters will get their own movie while others are supporting characters in other monster movies.  He also talked about where things are at with The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and that they’re just trying to figure things out, at this stage, working with Drew Goddard on Sinister Six, and his plans to direct Venom after that.  And of course, no conversation with Kurtzman would be complete without an update on the feature film of Locke & Key.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

alex-kurtzman-universal-monster-moviesQuestion:  You’re doing all of these TV projects and a lot of film work.  What do you have to keep a bird’s eye view on, and what do you have to keep hands on? 

ALEX KURTZMAN:  The first thing you have to do is hire a really good team.  Part of our job is to stay at 30,000 feet, to make sure the ship is steering in the right direction and to let everybody do what they’re good at doing.  And then, there are certain projects that I’ll write on very heavily.  It’s a balancing act, for sure.  My day starts early. 

On the cinematic side, what’s front and center on your plate, right now?

KURTZMAN:  Front and center right now is Chris Morgan and I working on getting The Mummy off the ground and building up our Monster Universe.  That’s where I’m spending my time.  And working with Drew Goddard on Sinister Six

Guillermo del Toro has always loved Frankenstein.  Would you want to get him involved, in some way?

KURTZMAN:  Nothing would make us happier.  We’re only at the beginning exploratory phase of all of it, but I’m a crazy huge Guillermo del Toro fan.  So, anything he wants to be involved in, we’d be honored. 

universal-monstersWhat is your big picture view of the Monster Universe that you’re working on?

KURTZMAN:  I think it’s incredibly important to all of us to start focusing on each movie, and make each movie great, rather than thinking, “Okay, we want to do The Avengers next.”  If that comes along, it will come along organically.  When I was a kid, going to Universal Studios, which was all I wanted to do, all the time, there was a show that was all the monsters, and I loved that show.  I was obsessed with Dracula.  I was obsessed with Frankenstein.  I was obsessed with the Wolfman.  This guy used to get stretched on a rack, live and in front of the audience.  It was so cool.  It’s very exciting.  It’s like being a kid in a candy store, getting to play with all those things again, at the very studio that birthed these monsters, in the first place.  Most importantly, we’re really wanting to just do each one right.  I think the world will come to us, if we build them correctly.

Is there a lesser one in the monster pantheon that you’re hoping to make an A-lister?

KURTZMAN:  Some monsters will get their own movie.  Other monsters will appear in other movies, as secondary characters.  The balance of that is what we’re working out right now.

What do you love about the idea of Sinister Six?

amazing-spider-man-3-dane-dehaanKURTZMAN:  I am a crazy fan of movies like The Wild Bunch or Wages of Fear, where you’re rooting for the bad guys.  I think that’s the opportunity that Sinister Six has to provide. 

Where are you at with The Amazing Spider-Man 3, in terms of timing? 

KURTZMAN:  It’s still in conversation.  Everybody is still figuring it out. 

So, it’s too soon to say when we’ll see it?

KURTZMAN:  It’s all up for grabs, right now.  We’re just trying to figure it out.

And where will Venom fit in?

KURTZMAN:  Venom will come after Sinister Six, I think is the plan.

And you’ll direct that?

KURTZMAN:  Yeah. 

Fans are clamoring for more female-starring superhero films, and you’ve got Black Cat in that universe.  Is there any chance we could see her?

KURTZMAN:  Anything is possible.  We are always looking for opportunities like that.  I can’t say a whole lot about it, but I wouldn’t rule anything out.

amazing-spider-man-3-paul-giamatti-rhinoWould you like to see her in the next Spider-Man film, since you did set up her alter-ego?

KURTZMAN:  Possibly, sure.

Do you have some connective tissue planned between Sinister Six and Venom?

KURTZMAN:  Everything is still on the table, right now.  Because it’s a universe outside of the Spider-Man universe, even though it’s connected to it, those movies have to stand on their own.  So, we’ll see.  We’ll see how it goes.

About a year ago, you said that Locke & Key was moving ahead as a feature film, to set up as a possible franchise.  Where are you at with that?

KURTZMAN:  We’re waiting on a script.  I’m very excited about it.  It’s still moving forward.

Is that something you’re hoping to do next year?

KURTZMAN:  I’d love to do it next year.  I’ve always believed in it.  I think it’s got an incredibly emotional story, at the heart of something very, very scary, which is pretty rare.  




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  • Jack le Critic

    It’s all still moving forward. Really.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Let’s hope

      • justinmbarlow

        just before I looked at the receipt ov $8130 , I
        didn’t believe that my sister woz like actualy bringing in money part-time from
        there pretty old laptop. . there aunts neighbour has been doing this 4 only
        about 22 months and at present repayed the mortgage on their appartment and
        bought themselves a Chrysler . see here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

      • Manuel Orozco

        Stop with all that spam

    • Vulcan

      Everyone’s talking about it, and it’s all up for grabs. Really.

    • mattritchey

      Yeah, this was kind of a non-interview.

    • 80sRobot

      Really!

  • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

    If the Monsters version of “Avengers” with Dracula, Frankenstein, Mummy, and Werewolf together doesn’t culminate in a big “Monster Mash” party/musical number finale, I will be disappointed.

  • http://www.cinefiloz.com/ Emmanuel Baez

    “Anything is possible. We are always looking for opportunities like that. I can’t say a whole lot about it, but I wouldn’t rule anything out”.

    What a master in default answers.

    • Vulcan

      He sounds like a politician. A lot of empty sentences and nothing of substance.

  • Manuel Orozco

    Let’s hope Amazing Spider man 3 moves forward as planned because we really need to see how Peter will cope with Gwen’s death (spoiler alert) and continue to protect NYC

    • AnnoDomini

      Yah….we really need to see Peter letting loved ones die and not learn a single lesson.

      • Manuel Orozco

        Hey

    • 80sRobot

      The “(spoiler alert)” should have been set before the actual spoiler.

      • Manuel Orozco

        What do you mean

      • BigJimSlade

        Alerts work better if you alert people BEFORE the event they’re being warned about.

      • Manuel Orozco

        Sorry it’s been two months since this movie came out and i thought i would do it anyway

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        Right, and they’re saying good job for thinking of using it, it’s just you used spoiler alert wrong. You have to put “Spoiler Alert” before the spoiler otherwise it’s not alerting anyone, you’re basically telling someone, after they’ve read the spoiler, that you just spoiled it for them.

      • Manuel Orozco

        I’m not used to putting spoilers in because I hate giving endings away

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        Yeah, I too avoid mentioning them at all when possible, the folks above were just saying in the future your spoiler tag should go before the spoiler.

      • Manuel Orozco

        Perfect sense thanks

      • Manuel Orozco

        By the way the important thing is ASM 3 has got to be done somehow

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        I dunno, I think Sony’s gonna take a long hard look at what they’re doing with TASM to see if it’s worth continuing. The last thing they want is to spend just as much on TASM3 only to have it underperform even more than TASM2 – which they likely recognize is a definite possibility. This is all especially hard for them, because it’s been said on various occasions (via Variety, Deadline, etc.) that were it not for Spider-man, Sony’s film division might have closed shop about 5 years ago. Spider-man films are what they rely on to balance their books at the end of the year, and when one of them underperforms like TASM2, that’s a huge kink in their plan. It’ll probably get done, but TASM3 might have a reduced budget and might take an extra year or two (or more).

        Keep in mind, all this talk about them moving forward with spin-off scripts doesn’t mean any of these Spidey films are actually still on track for their original releases, it could just mean Sony wants to have them in hand so they can figure out if this entire thing has become a trainwreck or if one of the spin-offs might actually have the quality necessary to get their moneymaker back on track.

      • Manuel Orozco

        Again let’s see what happens

      • Jack Dennis

        there will no doubt be budget cuts but TASM3 is still moving forward . sony will not sell the rights.EVER!

      • Manuel Orozco

        Sorry it’s been two months since this movie came out and i thought i would do it anyway

      • BigJimSlade

        Alerts work better if you alert people BEFORE the event they’re being warned about.

      • Pk

        Lol that one made my day. Gotta agree this spidey is completely useless

      • Pk

        Lol that one made my day. Gotta agree this spidey is completely useless

    • Lovecraftlives

      How about skip Spiderman and the rest of that crap and give it all back to Marvel to show people how comic book films are really done!

      • Manuel Orozco

        I don’t see any point of that happening

      • Pinback_Sherman

        Why so there’s less comic book movies made at one time?

  • james

    So the update is “we have no concrete plans as we really messed up the last one and now everyone knows we don’t know what we’re doing. At all.”

    • Daz

      Nailed it. After Amazing Spider-Man 2 they realised they had fucked up and now everyone is leaving and people do not have a clue what to do next. Its a shame the franchise has disintegrated in this way and they don’t give a flying fuck because Spider-Man is one of my favorite characters.

    • The_Eternal_Dalek

      In fairness to them even before Amazing Spider-Man 2 came out they were probably going to shift around the order of the next three films.

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  • Vulcan

    I’m still confused about what the Sinister Six movie is going to be about if Spider-man isn’t in it. Their entire thing is “let’s kill Spider-man and conquer the world.” If they are not going to fight Spider-man, who are they going to fight? Black Cat? Another superhero? A different villain? Themselves? Are they going to turn into a group of anti-heros?

    • Pernell Whitaker

      It’s a look behind the curtain of super-villains… We only ever get to see the fruits of their labour, but those super plans designed to kill a superhero and destroy/takeover the world don’t just come from nowhere. It was planned to be similar to the Social Network in tone, with the Sinister Six arguing amongst themselves and debating plans for two hours etc, very dialogue driven… After ASM 2 bombed critically tho, Sorkin refused to get involved.

      • theseeker7

        wtf? Aaron Sorkin was NEVER going to be at all involved with the Sinister Six in the least. or anything to do with the Spiderman universe for that matter.

      • theseeker7

        wtf? Aaron Sorkin was NEVER going to be at all involved with the Sinister Six in the least. or anything to do with the Spiderman universe for that matter.

      • theseeker7

        wtf? Aaron Sorkin was NEVER going to be at all involved with the Sinister Six in the least. or anything to do with the Spiderman universe for that matter.

    • Pernell Whitaker

      It’s a look behind the curtain of super-villains… We only ever get to see the fruits of their labour, but those super plans designed to kill a superhero and destroy/takeover the world don’t just come from nowhere. It was planned to be similar to the Social Network in tone, with the Sinister Six arguing amongst themselves and debating plans for two hours etc, very dialogue driven… After ASM 2 bombed critically tho, Sorkin refused to get involved.

    • Jack Dennis

      spiderman will undoubtedly show up in sinister six.probably only spiderman and no peter parker. we’ll probably see him from the villains point of view.

  • agent777

    All the major Universal Monsters are A-Listers. They all generated big profit a a few sequels each.

    • 80sRobot

      Yeah but that was decades, generations ago. (With the exception of The Mummy re-imagining.)

      • Agent777

        And your point is?

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  • Strong Enough

    this was pointless

  • AnnoDomini

    It’s all still in conversation because Sony thought TAS-M 2 would be a massive hit, critically and financially. Now that they put all their eggs in a basket before they hatched and once they realized that the film WASN’T a massive hit, they’re scared to move forward. And they should be. Sony needs to realize that they will never get another massive hit like Sam Raimi’s films if they don’t let the director have a little thing called “creative control”(critically and financially…S-M 3 does not count when it was only a hit financially).

    • milo

      And Spidey 3 was the one where Raimi had the most studio meddling, he wasn’t able to make the movie he wanted to make and we’ve all seen the result of that.

    • Spanky

      That’s not it really, they have to bring in competent writers and a good director, these Orci and Kurtzman twits are getting far too much work for their level of talent!

      • AnnoDomini

        No, it has nothing to do with the writers or director. First and foremost, it’s Sony, because the past two films, I’ve heard many rumors about Sony editing the films the way they want to see them. Even with a competent script, Sony could still have it their way in the end until they decide to give the director full creative control as they did with Raimi in his first two films. Once S-M 2 was released, Sony became greedy.

  • 80sRobot

    These studios are relying on too few people (e.g. Kurtzman) with their franchises. The results will continue to be delays and an inevitable sameness to the final product, since their time and talents are being stretched thin.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I am not scared for this to affect the future of the franchise i just want it to go on

  • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

    bring back Raimi.

    • Pernell Whitaker

      Have you seen the trailer for Uncharted 4? Whoa baby…

  • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

    bring back Raimi.

  • appolox

    Everyone blames Kurtzman, Orci and Marc Webb for the problems with these films. But actually you should be blaming Sony. Webb doesn’t have complete control over these films. Sony always has their hands in the project fondling it around and demanding changes be made to suit whatever they think will benefit the franchise financially.

  • appolox

    Everyone blames Kurtzman, Orci and Marc Webb for the problems with these films. But actually you should be blaming Sony. Webb doesn’t have complete control over these films. Sony always has their hands in the project fondling it around and demanding changes be made to suit whatever they think will benefit the franchise financially.

    • Spanky

      Everyone says this yet they say it without a clue.. as if all directors have the magic ability to turn a garbage script into gold, especially a mid tier director such as Webb

      I put complete blame the writers, the studio will likely give them certain plot points to hit, help mold a bigger multi picture story to create an Avengers type universe that everyone else is trying to copy, but the general plot of the individual movie and dialogue comes from the writers.. complete garbage is what they produce

      • Manuel Orozco

        I think we should blame the writers not the director it was good but it focused too much on the future

      • Gerry Rock

        I think you’re right, ASM2 was all about seting the path for Sinister 6, but writters did what they did cause Sony told them what they want, all is going to lead to S6, that, IMO, it’s bull-shit!… why? cause they talk about a movie focused on a bunch of villians… who cares about a 6 villains movie if Spidey is not going to be the main guy to fight them?

        Just please end all this S6 stuff and reboot the franchise, and choose a director with huge experience on sci-fi/cgi/superheroes films

      • Manuel Orozco

        I don’t want a whole do over it’s too soon for that I want the current franchise to continue

      • milo

        True although often times scripts are rewritten after they’re done as well as the director and cast changing whatever they want on set. Not saying that’s what happened here but there are plenty of examples of movies where what was filmed bears little resemblance to the original script. Not to mention the editing process, even if they totally shoot the script, important things can be taken out or switched around to the point where a decent script is turned into garbage. Again, not saying that’s what happened here.

      • appolox

        Well true but I’m sure Sony probably had a say in the script too. Hell, the only reason Venom was in Spider-Man 3 is because Sony practically forced Sam Raimi to put him in. And your right. They do focus way too much on the future.

    • Agent777

      People blamed Raimi unfairly… and now the crown sits heavy on the heads of his inheritors.

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  • Tom

    Kurtzman is a jackass and I’m not paying for anything he’s involved in again.

  • Tom

    Kurtzman is a jackass and I’m not paying for anything he’s involved in again.

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  • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

    This franchise needs a major overhaul in their production dept. They should look at WB’s Batman franchise to shake it up and go with another director/writer team (ala Burton/Schumacher) but only make sure that they hire someone who actually respects the source material and can direct a good film – something WB’s failed at doing.

    Keep the story simple with a focus on only making that one film and not worry about possible future films. Keep the budget down to $150M and make the story more intimate and less grand feeling. Give us a real villian instead of the same “sympathetic villians” that almost all of the films have (even Raimi ruined The Green Goblin by making Osborn more sympathetic than he should have been). Give us, at most, 2 villians per film and set up future characters better (ie Eddie Brock could have been in these films as a minor character setting him up for a larger role down the road as Venom since they are planning a spin-off.)

    They turned TASM2 into Iron Man 2 by making the film a stepping stone for another larger film to come (if it even does at this point). Just poor execution all around as we once again got to see that the studio editing the crap out of the film and changed several of the story lines (just as the did w the 1st film) as confirmed by all of the leaked info regarding the major changes that occured in post production (deleting Mary Jane, Electro seeing his mother betraying him, Peter’s dad showing up at the end, etc). Have the script finished before filming starts.

    I see Sony either revamping their think tank behind the camera or asking to lease Spider-Man into the Marvel universe to help their films.

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  • Redjester

    Not sure if Webb is to blame for these films at all.

    Webb’s Spiderman kind of reminds me of what Antman would have likely been if Edgar Wright had decided to forgo artistic integrity and agree to all of the studios demands/whims. Doing so might not create a horrible film per-say, but the end-product it creates is very formulaic and safe with nothing that sets it apart.

  • mattinacan

    Oh man, this guy sucks

  • Gerry Rock

    IMO, I just want TASM to reach and ending, to me, it would be better if they skip TASM 3 and go straight to Sinister 6 and then reboot the franchise.

    Now, the Monsters Universe is something that I’m really excited about, it would be cool if this Universe is set in the 1900-1940 period like the original films, but at the same time, I would love to see modern versions of this classic monsters, of course, if they are well done.

    Monster movies that I’m really looking for: Invisible Man, Creature from Black Lagoon, The Wolfman.

    The Mummy could be used as a way to bring back to life another monsters like Frankestein’s monster and Dracula could be a recruiter like Nick Fury or something like that.

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