“Universal had a moment of pause because I think it seemed a little too expensive at the scope that I did it at.”
Versatile filmmaker Paul Feig is currently hard at work directing the star-studded Netflix movie The School for Good and Evil, but with any luck his next project will be one he’s been hoping to make for quite some time. It was announced in 2019 that the Spy and The Heat director was writing an original Universal monster movie called Dark Army, which will unite original characters and creatures with classic Universal monsters. Feig has long said his aim with Dark Army is to create a film in the vein of the classic James Whale monster movies, and not necessarily a horror movie.
Universal Pictures’ plans for its monster universe have been in flux ever since the Tom Cruise-fronted The Mummy failed to take off and the studio’s grand designs for an interconnected “Dark Universe” were scrapped. Leigh Whannell’s stripped-down approach to The Invisible Man was far more successful last year, and Universal now appears to be taking it one film at a time, with Whannell now attached to direct Ryan Gosling in a Wolfman movie that’s expected to be similar in scope to The Invisible Man.
while appearing on The Collider Podcast to discuss his brilliant film Bridesmaids for its 10th anniversary, the director is currently rewriting the script of Dark Army to bring the scope down a tad, and he’s hoping it’ll be his next project after he finishes The School for Good and Evil:Which may explain why Universal bristled at the initial scope of Feig’s Dark Army. But as Feig revealed
“Yeah there is [positive momentum on Dark Army]. I’m desperate to do it. Universal had a moment of pause because I think it seemed a little too expensive at the scope that I did it at, so I’m going to go in and do a rewrite to kind of bring it down. I mean the scope will still be big, but I actually think they were right, I think I was trying to bite off more than I probably should for what I would hope would be the first installment in something I want to carry on, so I’m rewriting that right now and fingers crossed that could be the next thing I could do. That’s the genre that I’ve been wanting to do forever, just a classic monster movie. Not a horror movie, but a classic monster movie in the tradition of the James Whale and Tod Browning movies. So yeah, hopefully that will be up next.”
It’s fascinating that Feig says here Dark Army is planned to launch a franchise of its own, but not unexpected. Whale directed Frankenstein, the original The Invisible Man, and Bride of Frankenstein, and given Feig’s penchant for traversing various genres with ease (sometimes within the same film, as with the underrated A Simple Favor) I have no doubt his version of a Universal monster movie will be memorable.
So there you have it. Feig’s passion project Dark Army is not only still alive, it could end up being his next movie. Hear more from Feig, including his approach to directing comedy and memories making Bridesmaids, on the latest episode of The Collider Podcast below or wherever you get your podcasts.
Universal created the first cinematic universe completely by accident.
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