Exclusive: Paul Feig Gives an Update on His Universal Monster Movie ‘Dark Army’

     February 13, 2020

Filmmaker Paul Feig has successfully navigated a variety of genres thus far—comedy, action, thriller, Christmas movie—and for his next trick, he hopes to tackle a classic Universal monster movie. Last fall, we learned that the Spy and Ghostbusters director had pitched an original monster movie to Universal Pictures called Dark Army, which would combine original characters with the iconic Universal monsters. At the time, Feig said he was about to turn his script in to Universal Pictures and hoped to make it as his next film.

So when I got on the phone with Feig recently to talk about his most recent movie Last Christmas, which is now available on Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD (just in time for Valentine’s Day!), I asked about the status of Dark Army. Feig said he’s now in the rewriting phase, but still hopes it’ll be either his next film or the film after that:

“I wrote a draft and got thoughts from the studio, and now I’m in the middle of a rewrite on that right now, and so hopefully that’ll be my next movie. If it’s not, it’ll be the one after whatever I do next. But yeah, I’m very excited about it, too. It’s just, you want to get it right.”

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Image via Universal Pictures

Feig reiterated that he’s not exactly planning on making a straight-up horror movie with Dark Army, and instead hopes to evoke the tone and feel of the classic Universal monster films:

“I really want this to bring the same feeling that those old monster movies that I loved growing up watching [did]. I’m not as interested in doing a horror movie as I am in doing a true monster film. So, hopefully that will see the light of day. You never know in Hollywood these days, but I love it. I’m very excited about it. I’m excited about the characters that I’ve created and about some of the ones that I’ve been able bring over from the old movies.”

While Universal originally planned an interconnected “Dark Universe” that was supposed to kick off with the Tom Cruise-fronted The Mummy, those plans were scuttled when that movie underperformed. But in its wake, Universal has been keen to greenlight unique takes on various classic monsters from exciting filmmakers. Feig agreed that this new direction—which is bringing us the domestic abuse-themed take on The Invisible Man later this month—is an exciting way to go:

“It’s really smart, because I mean, I can’t wait for Invisible Man, but that looks like a straight-up great horror movie, you know? But then the fact that I just read that they’re going to do this like monster musical, and that’s great, too. I mean, the monster world is just so great. It’s nice to see it just kind of get interpreted a million different ways. So I’m excited about mine and about whatever else they’re going to do.”

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Image via Sony Pictures

Feig made two of the most rewatchable comedies of the 21st century with Bridesmaids and Spy, brought a wonderfully fresh perspective to Ghostbusters, and recently has proven more than capable of nailing a specific tone even if it’s something quite different from comedy. The Anna Kendrick/Blake Lively thriller A Simple Favor is a delicious delight, and Last Christmas puts an emotional twist on the classic Christmas movie. On top of all of this, Feig is an incredibly gifted visual stylist with a flair for gorgeous, cinematic storytelling.

So all of this to say, I really hope Universal greenlights Dark Army sooner rather than later, because Feig’s track record suggests he’ll knock this one out of the park as well.

Look for my full interview with Feig on Collider tomorrow.

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