Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman Planning Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe

by     Posted 1 year, 4 days ago

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If only Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman‘s business savvy were equal to their screenwriting talent.  The duo have no problem getting attached to blockbuster properties, and while part of that is being credited on previously successful blockbusters, there are other big-budget screenwriters who don’t become so prolific.   In addition to moving into television with Sleepy Hollow and plans to produce feature adaptations of Locke & Key and Dragonology, Orci and Kurtzman are also developing remakes of Van Helsing and The Mummy because it’s great to make movies no one wanted.  But it turns out they’ve got big plans for Universal’s stable of horror icons beyond simple remakes.

Hit the jump for more.

Universal Classic Monsters Blu-ray box setIn a recent interview with IGN, Orci says they’re looking to go make sure their lead characters move over into other movies [via CS]:

“There’s an interesting thing that could happen at Universal where they have this amazing library of their old monsters and these kinds of heroes, and the idea of trying to create a universe. Van Helsing, and we’re also producing The Mummy for them. We’re kind of imagining updating these kinds of things. You don’t want to just make remakes when you’re doing a thing, unless it’s worthy of being a remake, but when you have an idea for something that can actually be made different and yet be true to what it was. We just had a notion of how to make it modern and have a slightly different tone. It’s not going to be just a remake.”

While this seems like a cheap way to follow Marvel’s success, crossing over Universal Monsters isn’t anything new.  In 1943, there was Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, and in 1948 there was Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, which included not only the Wolfman, but also Bela Lugosi reprising his role as Dracula.

Bringing back these crossovers is a fun idea.  Unfortunately, it has the wrong guys at the helm.

abbott-and-costello-meet-frankenstein-poster




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  • Hari

    Just write the article, dawg. No need to editorialize so much.

    • mike_thoms

      yeah seriously, tell us what you really think Matt

    • jack

      It’s best to just give up with him. He doesn’t know the difference between news and editorials. Everything has to be graced with his opinion

      • Frank

        Honestly, I don’t think complaining will do anything. At this point, either he just doesn’t read the comments or he does read them and just makes these comments to rile people up. I think the only way you’re going to ever get the chance to try and get through to him is to speak to him in-person.

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        If you want news without opinions, please go to comingsoon.net.

      • Hey…HEY!

        You tell’em, Goldberg! If people don’t want to read your opinions in an article written by you, that don’t make no sense!

        P.S. I think Robert Orci is Xander from Buffy with a few extra chromosomes.

      • The Flobbit

        Your picture is surprisingly fitting.

      • MarvelMoviesAreWorse

        Thanks for the suggestion!

      • MarvelMoviesAreWorse

        P.S. You should change the site name to kevinfeige.com or mattgoldbergandhisopinions.com

      • Frank

        Honestly, I don’t think complaining will do anything. At this point, either he just doesn’t read the comments or he does read them and just makes these comments to rile people up. I think the only way you’re going to ever get the chance to try and get through to him is to speak to him in-person.

  • Kaiser117

    Jeez, you really don’t like Orci and Kurtzman…I honestly don’t think they’re that bad, it mostly depends on how well the director uses their scripts (Michael Bay=garbage, JJ Abrams=great). Their scripts are mediocre at worst.

    • The Flobbit

      Well, Orci and Kurtzman ARE crap.

  • The Driver

    Wasn’t this literally the basis for the Hugh Jackman Van Helsing? I know lots of people hate that movie, but I’m just saying it’s already been done.

    It had not only the Wolfman, Dracula, and Frankenstein’s monster but even Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and possibly a version of the gill man had Sommers got his way lol.

  • http://movieguynewsreviews.blogspot.com/ Josh

    Ignoring Matt Goldberg being the idiot he is, I really like this idea. They’re a great pair of writers and the idea of all of these classic monsters kind of teaming up could be really awesome if it’s done well! Very excited to hear more about this!

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

    Matt Goldberg still butt hurt over Orci/Kurtzman ruining his version of what he thinks Star Trek should be. Never mind author’s opinions but cannot stand snarky comments as they come off arragant and lazy. I’m not opposed to Orci/Kurtzman having the keys to Universal’s Classic Monster Gallary but I would much rather have someone like Guillermo Del Toro given the reigns to such properties as his heart would be in the right place. And hiring true talent like Frank Darabont instead of Joe Johnston could have made the Wolf Man such a better film than what was delivered (although I do not put too much blame on Johnston as he was brought in weeks before filming was to start). That’s why I was glad Len Wiseman stepped away from the Mummy films as it would have been the same situation all over again – a decent director in the wrong genre.

    • The Flobbit

      Star Trek Into Darkness was a slog into the very bowels of cinematic hell. It was tragically bad.

      • deskjockey91

        It wasn’t THAT bad. It just was disappointing after the first one.

      • deskjockey91

        It wasn’t THAT bad. It just was disappointing after the first one.

  • Guest

    Critics like Goldberg will always think they can do it better. If you can do better, show us, don’t talk about it. Matt’s a talker. Always will be.

    • Ooohh, I’m a “Guest”

      He’s a “talker,” huh? I guess you visit those super-secret amazing websites run by filmmakers who “do” and still have time to bring you the daily news, too?

      At least Matt signs his name on every post. He’s willing to put up with B.S. like this from people like you, who obviously hate him for doing the job he’s paid for. I don’t always agree with him, but I appreciate what he does.

      • Guest

        You’re right, my tone was off-putting and I apologize. I do not hate Matt by the way. But I do stand by the sentiment that in general, a critics critiques because it’s easier to do so. It is in effect, talking, rather than doing. Matt has said very harsh things in the past without regard to the people – not products – but people in his crosshairs, and in doing so, he’s opened himself up to criticism. The people Matt so often (and often mercilessly) critiques are also just doing what they are paid for as well. Surely you appreciate that, right? And if you can’t that’s okay too, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion, and so is Matt. Have a great weekend, and yes, I will acknowledge it is ballsy to put your name out there and stand by what you say. I’ll applaud Matt for that, but not the vitriolic nature of his comments about other people trying to make livings. That, I disagree with. In any case, have a great weekend.

  • Sarah Wall

    Tom Mison has saved their bacon with Sleepy Hollow. Maybe they need to pick him for Van Helsing.

  • Jeff

    No, they are crappy writers and Matt Goldberg should have an opinion. Good FX does not make a good writer.

    • Guest

      I agree with that. Matt should have an opinion but that’s all it is. What qualifies his opinion? Why is his opinion greater than any viewer, or layman? It’s easy to armchair QB. It’s easy to forget all the factors that go into making a movie, and that no one should inherit all the blame. There are choices made for writers everyday when working on a project, by corporates, not creators – and if writers, directors, actors want to work in a studio capacity, they have to service those choices, go the indie route or not work.

      • Jeff

        What makes Matt’s opinion valid? Just that he works here. No one is forced to read his stuff. I think his stuff is good and don’t understand why he rubs people the wrong way. Because he has an opinion? Opinions are what sets sites apart, since everyone has the same news/movies to review. Rock on, Matt.
        It’s true that it’s hard to tell where the screenwriters end and the needs of the movie business begin but Kurtzman and Orci are big enough (everybody seems to want them) and have made enough money that they don’t have to chase franchises. They could do some idies and show their chops. But they only seem interested in mo money, mo money, mo money so they reap what they sow.

      • Guest

        So you think they’re interested only in money, and not in the genre? They tell these stories because of the library. They love these characters, and the studio has the access and means to distribute these types of films. And this is a tangent, but if you have or are supporting a family, you can understand the desire for more money, the security it provides. It’s the same security Universal feels by having this writing team on board. Not because they are the best writers ever, but because Universal can expect a certain level of execution which will (hopefully) secure their investment and keep everyone working.

        I appreciate your thoughtful response and being a fan of Matt’s work certainly isn’t wrong. But I can explain to you why Matt rubs many posters the wrong way. He offers opinions on news. Most journalists don’t do that, although I’ll admit the trend is changing. It started with Deadline, and reading that site makes my eyes hurt. I remember a time when Collider was more amicable, more friendly to the filmmaker, more for the fans, and Matt has seemed to buck against that ideology. The journalists that editorialize open themselves up to critique, and justifiably so.

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        I’ve been writing on this site for six years, and I was hired specifically to give opinions on news stories.

      • Strong Enough

        i’m sayin. why hold your tongue? there isn’t anything wrong with saying how you feel

      • Guest

        Thanks for your response. I should preface this by saying, there were times on the site I’ve defended you before. However, the terms of why were you were hired don’t change the reality. Any time a journalist injects an opinion, or steers an audience, as opposed to letting a reader form their own opinion about a news story, then the journalist rather than the news becomes the subject of debate. This is the attention you’ve attracted, hired for it or not, it’s what you have inspired from Collider fans with your commentary. But truly, invariably, the critiques you receive here are a particle, compared to the countless writers, actors and directors you and others so freely critique on a daily basis.

      • Guest

        So you think they’re interested only in money, and not in the genre? They tell these stories because of the library. They love these characters, and the studio has the access and means to distribute these types of films. And this is a tangent, but if you have or are supporting a family, you can understand the desire for more money, the security it provides. It’s the same security Universal feels by having this writing team on board. Not because they are the best writers ever, but because Universal can expect a certain level of execution which will (hopefully) secure their investment and keep everyone working.

        I appreciate your thoughtful response and being a fan of Matt’s work certainly isn’t wrong. But I can explain to you why Matt rubs many posters the wrong way. He offers opinions on news. Most journalists don’t do that, although I’ll admit the trend is changing. It started with Deadline, and reading that site makes my eyes hurt. I remember a time when Collider was more amicable, more friendly to the filmmaker, more for the fans, and Matt has seemed to buck against that ideology. The journalists that editorialize open themselves up to critique, and justifiably so.

      • Jeff

        What makes Matt’s opinion valid? Just that he works here. No one is forced to read his stuff. I think his stuff is good and don’t understand why he rubs people the wrong way. Because he has an opinion? Opinions are what sets sites apart, since everyone has the same news/movies to review. Rock on, Matt.
        It’s true that it’s hard to tell where the screenwriters end and the needs of the movie business begin but Kurtzman and Orci are big enough (everybody seems to want them) and have made enough money that they don’t have to chase franchises. They could do some idies and show their chops. But they only seem interested in mo money, mo money, mo money so they reap what they sow.

  • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

    Goldberg is back to old game…trying to get us to hate him.

    • Matt

      Honestly I was thinking the other day I hadn’t read any Goldberg snark in a while. I thought maybe a page had been turned but…

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        Credit where credit is due, he really held back for a long time.

  • edshrinker

    “If only Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman‘s business savvy were equal to their screenwriting talent.”

    Um,
    since you are being snarky about the duo’s abilities, you might want to
    check your own. Your opening phrase (and obvious low opinion about their
    writing) tells me you wish they were as bad of businessmen as they are
    writers. Clearly the intent was to say you wish they could write as
    well as they close deals. You can’t write GoldBergManStien. Get over
    yourself. Hit and miss writers (Fringe, asshole?) but when they hit.
    They HIT.

  • T

    Matt, please stop shitting on Orci and Kurtzman…. These 2 are the best Screenwriting partners since the Epstein’s…
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    Bazinga….

  • dangeer

    Don’t forget Universal’s “House of Frankenstein” and “House of Dracula,” both of which included Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, and the Wolf Man.

  • The Exploiter

    Just here to read the Goldberg comments. Proceed.

  • Kevin

    Agree with Goldberg. Like the idea, but these are not the writers to do it.

  • Kevin

    Agree with Goldberg. Like the idea, but these are not the writers to do it.

  • MITIOR

    “Because it’s great to make movies no one wanted”? a Van helsing movie could be good

    • jon1947

      I would love to see good faithful remakes of the Universal Monsters using the classic Make up created by the Late Jack Pierce

    • jon1947

      I would love to see good faithful remakes of the Universal Monsters using the classic Make up created by the Late Jack Pierce

  • The Flobbit

    This is how it needs to go:

    RALPH FIENNES — Count Dracula. Because he’s suave, sophisticated,
    sufficiently creepy, looks good in black, and an amazing actor.

    BENICIO DEL TORO — The Wolfman. Because he was excellent in The Wolfman, and he’s not the first choice one thinks about when casting the Wolfman.

    ROBERT MAILLET — Frankenstein’s Monster. Because he’s huge, scary, menacing, and brutally good. He will bring the brawn, and it’s not a difficult role to play.

    DOUG JONES — The Mummy. Because Jones is adept at these strange, makeup heavy roles, has the physique, and is an amazing actor.

    KENNETH BRANAGH – Dr. Jekyll. Because he’s suave and devilishly handsome, as well as being a damn good actor.

    ANDY SERKIS — Mr. Hyde. Because when you want a monkey, monster, or creepy
    serial killer played, Andy friggin’ Serkis is your man!

    RICHARD ARMITAGE — Van Helsing. Because he’s badass, tall, broad, can fight, looks handsome, and is an all round cool actor.

    with Christopher Lee in a supporting role, since that’s a nice touch.

    Guillermo Del Toro directs, produces, and writes a script of his own devising. The film is dark, atmospheric, Gothic, and in touch with films such as Del Toro’s Cronos and Pan’s Labyrinth. It pays homages to the classics, while forging a new, bold, exciting path. Weta Workshop does the makeup and prosthetics, and Weta Digital does the minimal CGI too. Hans Zimmer composes the theme with James Newton Howard.

    • Johnson

      Shut up and take my money – right now!

      • The Flobbit

        I accept donations.

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