As soon as the FX anthology series Fargo became a critical and commercial smash hit, creator and showrunner Noah Hawley was extremely in demand. While he continues to serve in the same role on Fargo—which is currently casting for Season 3—he’s also spearheading a pilot for Fox’s first live-action X-Men spinoff series Legion, he’s developing an FX limited series adaptation of the Kurt Vonnegut sci-fi novel Cat’s Cradle, and he’s working on his feature debut Man Alive. Somewhere in between all of these developments, Hawley also signed on to write the script for one of Universal’s new monster movies as part of the studio’s interconnected Universal Monsters universe, but now it looks like that film may have fallen by the wayside.
As part of a profile of the prolific writer in Vanity Fair, Hawley admitted that he bit off more than he could chew:
“I wasn’t really able to write the movie for Universal in the time period that they were hoping for it, so we said no harm, no foul. There aren’t enough hours in the day, especially because I have young kids. I refuse to compromise the family time any more than I have to.”
It’s not explicitly stated that this is the Universal Monsters film, but it makes sense. Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious franchise) are serving as the creative godfathers of this interconnected Universal Monsters series, which kicks off with the Kurtzman-directed The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, and Russell Crowe as a Dr. Jekyll-type who’s expected to appear in future films down the line. The studio recently set Johnny Depp to lead The Invisible Man and is reportedly courting Angelina Jolie for Bride of Frankenstein, with Wolfman, Dracula, and Van Helsing all also on the table.
Hawley was intended to be part of a writer’s room that Kurtzman and Morgan had assembled to hash out ideas and then assign scripts for the films, but it sounds like the guy was simply too busy—and it’s hard to blame him. Running one series is hard enough, but simultaneously developing two new shows and prepping a feature film is a serious time suck, not to mention writing a redo of an iconic horror franchise. So yeah, as of now, it looks like Hawley won’t be a part of the Universal Monsters Universe after all, but don’t worry, we’ll be seeing plenty from Noah Hawley regardless.