Ep 1.3: A New World of Gods and Monsters – Part 3 “Industry Insight”

We bid you welcome to Universal Monsters Cast, where your horror hosts – Gillman Joel, Dr. Shock and Wolfman Josh – will regularly brave discussions of many a monstrous thing, with a special focus on the Universal Monsters, both the classic films and the emerging Dark Universe.

Season 1. Episode 3. This is a continuation of our introduction to the show and the final part of a 3-part series that we’re calling “A New World of Gods and Monsters,” wherein we discuss everything we know about the new Dark Universe.

Part 1 featured a discussion amongst the hosts, giving you our opinions on all of the news and rumors that we know so far. Part 2 featured a discussion with a panel of our listeners, telling us what the fans really want. And this episode, Part 3, will feature a discussion with some industry insiders, giving us some educated insight into what we can actually expect the studio to give us.

And now it is time to listen to the children of the night. What music they make!


[ 00:00:00 ] I. Intro

– Welcome to Part 3/3 of “A New World of Gods and Monsters”

[ 00:02:43 ] II. Dark Universe

– A new name for the Monsters Universe: Dark Universe
– D.C. Comics’ Dark Universe
– The Avengers of monster movies?
– Monsters on a budget

[ 00:17:00 ] III. Dark Universe Directors Fantasy Draft

The Gillman and The Wolfman share their pie-in-the-sky fan picks for future Dark Universe directors.

[ 00:42:53 ] IV. Interview: Kris Longfield

Dave and Josh talk to Fanthropology’s Kris Longfield, who shares her insights as to what we might expect from the Dark Universe, as someone who works with studios on franchise building, marketing campaigns, and consumer insights.

[ 01:24:46 ] V. Interview: Matt Greenberg

Josh talks to Screenwriter Matt Greenberg, who shares his insights as to what we might expect from the Dark Universe, as someone who has been brought in to work on existing properties and franchises.

[ 02:05:02 ] VI. Wrap-up and Host Plugs 


– Check out Kris Longfield’s Fanthropology
– Watch for Matt Greenberg’s GoFundMe campaign! Haha

– Subscribe to Universal Monsters Cast on iTunes
– Subscribe to Universal Monsters Cast on Stitcher
– Follow @MonstersCast on Twitter
– Listen to the Horror Movie Podcast ep that inspired the creation of this show (HERE).
– If you want to support the show, become a patron of Movie Podcast Network and subscribe to our “Special Features” episodes by paying a small fee to get at least one bonus release each month through our official Movie Podcast Network Patreon page!*

Reference articles for this episode:

Warner Bros Could Sue Universal Over the Dark Universe Name
by Samuel Brace for Flickering Myth

More Rumors About the Next Monsters Joining Universal’s Dark Universe
by James Whitbrook for io9

One Really Smart Thing Universal’s Doing With The Mummy And The Dark Universe
by Adam Holmes for CinemaBlend

Can Universal Create a Marvel-Like Universe With ‘The Mummy’ and Other Monster Flicks?
by Tatiana Siegel for THR

Whatever Happened to John Carpenter’s Creature From The Black Lagoon?
by Ryan Lambie for Den of Geek

Gillman Joel’s links:
Joel covers retro movies at Retro Movie Geek
Follow @RetroMovieGeek on Twitter
Join the RMG Facebook Group
Joel used to cover forgotten flix at Forgotten Flix Remembers

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Follow Josh on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @IcarusArts
Josh covers horror movies on HorrorMoviePodcast.com
Josh covers streaming online movies on MovieStreamCast.com
Follow MSC on Twitter @MovieStreamCast
Like MSC on Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave writes daily movie reviews on DVDinfatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation on Facebook
Dave podcasts about horror movies on Horror Movie Podcast and Land of the Creeps
You can read all of Dave’s “Universal Horror” written reviews (HERE) at DVDinfatuation.com

UMC Producer and Composer Kagan Breitenbach’s links:
Check out Kagan’s music at KaganBreitenbach.com
Subscribe to Kagan’s YouTube Channel QuartetMacbre
Follow Kagan on Twitter @KRBrietenbach

*Note: The Movie Podcast Network episodes are bonus podcasts for our financial supporters. MPN does not replace Universal Monsters Cast and, further, UMC will always remain free.

22 thoughts on “Ep 1.3: A New World of Gods and Monsters – Part 3 “Industry Insight”

  1. So, I was listening to the podcast portion on dream directors: To be honest, there was a lot of mention of some very big name directors but not a lot of time on some of the newer, fresher, and hungrier directors out there and it made me a little sad to hear. One of the reasons the Marvel films have had the success they’ve had is that Marvel has been willing to offer their projects up for newer, younger, and hungrier directors who are really just hitting their prime. The only one that I thought was really intriguing was Neil Marshal.

    So here’s a few directors that I think could do some good work with the Universal Horror Monsters.

    The Soska Sisters
    Adam Green
    David Robert Mitchell
    Ti West
    Robert Eggers
    Jennifer Kent
    Karin Kusama
    Joe Lynch
    Peter Strickland
    Mike Flanagan
    Roxanne Benjamin… the list is kind of exhaustive, but I would love to see some newer directors helm these Universal Horror Monsters and bring something new to the table. If they’re going to be redone, or rebooted, or whatever than why not go and do some interesting stuff with them?

    • Great list, Redcap. Eggers and Lynch stand out to me the most for some reason. And while I have not been a huge fan of the films the Soska sisters have done so far; I think that could be an interesting direction especially with something like Creature or Wolf-Man.

    • Thanks for sharing your list, RCJ.

      While I agree that we spent too much time on big name directors like Scorsese and Tarantino that would never happen, I would absolutely not trust some of these directors to take the reigns of such precious properties.

      So, I was listening to the podcast portion on dream directors: To be honest, there was a lot of mention of some very big name directors but not a lot of time on some of the newer, fresher, and hungrier directors out there and it made me a little sad to hear. One of the reasons the Marvel films have had the success they’ve had is that Marvel has been willing to offer their projects up for newer, younger, and hungrier directors who are really just hitting their prime. The only one that I thought was really intriguing was Neil Marshal.

      So here’s a few directors that I think could do some good work with the Universal Horror Monsters.

      Sensability-wise, I wouldn’t necessarily want to see Universal Monsters films from folks like The Soska Sisters, Adam Green, Joe Lynch, Peter Strickland, or Ti West, despite liking them ally o carrying degrees.

      We think filmmakers Robert Eggers, Jennifer Kent, Roxanne Benjamin, and David Robert Mitchell would be awesome, but they’re not really battle-tested. Especially on such big sets. I don’t think they have the experience. Still, if they got the opportunity, I would be very happy for them and very excited.

      What I eventually came around to are filmmakers who Universal would actually consider. That’s why your picks of Karin Kusama, Mike Flanagan are brilliant.

      anyway, what you comment pointed-out is that we need to have this conversation again, but do a much better job. Thanks for that. You’ve inspired the continuation of this exploration and we’ll defintely refer back to this list when we do it.

  2. Here are the directors I would love to see:

    Creature From The Black Lagoon: David Robert Mitchell. Since he didn’t get “Halloween”, I would love if he got this property and made a great stalking creature movie, another score by Disasterpiece wouldn’t hurt either.

    The Invisible Man: David Fincher. I’ve never seen an Invisible Man movie except the Kevin Bacon and Chevy Chase ones. I understand that the Universal Invisible Man films are psychological thrillers, so I think Fincher would be a good fit.

    Dracula: Guillermo Del Toro. Assuming “Dracula Untold” is in fact DOA, then Guillermo should do Dracula. Both “The Strain” and “Crimson Peak” prove the man can do both vampires and gothic atmosphere well.

    The Wolfman: Jordan Vogt-Roberts. Again, assuming Benicio’s Wolfman is also DOA, I have a potentially controversial idea. What if it were a Wolfboy dealing with the normal pressures of high school while dealing with the supernatural changes and would have a similar tone to the upcoming Spider-Man Homecoming film. Upon discussing this with a co-worker, I am told this is basically the plot of Teen Wolf, but I’ve never actually seen that, so I would love a coming of age teen werewolf movie from the director of “The Kings Of Summer”.

    Team-Up Movie: Peter Jackson. I think Jackson would be a good fit for the epic Avengers-style team-up movie. Imagine a “You have my sword and my axe moment” but with, uh, “You have my claws, and my fangs, and my gills” instead.

    • The one that stands out the most to me is The Invisible Man. I’d greatly recommend checking out not only The Invisible Man, but also the first follow-up, The Invisible Man Returns. With these two films, there’s a lot of comedy in it, perhaps more than any other major property from the Universal Monsters. In the first half especially, there’s a lot of mischievous and wackiness, even when the Invisible Man is causing chaos. This has remained for nearly every other Invisible person movie, TV show, or TV show episode. There’s a fun value of initially being able to be invisible and do things you’re normally not able to do.

      Perhaps it’s because of how often Wolfman Josh has mentioned Jordan Peele, but I feel Peele or someone associated with comedy would be better off making the Invisible Man reboot. As Get Out proved, Peele can mix the drama and the comedy with both being effective. As long as Johnny Depp is going to be playing the Invisible Man, it makes even more sense to bring someone on board that can utilize Depp’s talents for wacky characters for the moments in the film that calls for less tension and more lighthearted fun.

    • You have my attention with your Creature pick, Jody. Personally, I’d like to see a director get that film who has more experience with visual action, but I love David Robert Mitchell and that could be really cool.

      I’m with Sal and Mark on The Invisible Man. I’d like to see it dark and twisted and not wholly comedic, but not as thriller-y as Fincher.

      Wolf-boy is not a new idea (see I Was a Teenage Werewolf and it’s comedic remake, Teen Wolf, not to mention several season of the MTV Teen Wolf show). Still, it’s not a bad idea. Jordan Vogt-Roberts is not a bad idea, here. I like him a lot as a person. Kings of Summer is great. Kong: Skull Island I’m more mixed on. If we were doing Wolf-boy, I actually might be more interested in David Robert Mitchell for this one. I’d still rather see a Wolf-Man movie, but I’d be onboard with this … as long as it is better than I Was a Teenage Wereskunk.

      Jackson is a great pick for a team-up movie. I’m still not sure there is a better chic for any of these than Del Toro, though. HellBoy has a monster team and they are dope. I’d like to see his Dracula too. Great pick. Mix Cronos and Crimson Peak and he’s practically done it, already. I’m slightly more interested in his Frankenstein and Creature, just because I know he is interested in them. He has a vision for how to pull them off.

  3. I feel a bit sheepish admitting this, but much like the infamous Tom Cruise screaming trailer, the first version of this podcast was released without all of the final music or sound FX. I think I’ve got all of them in now (I didn’t bother with a few just because I grew tired of the project), but I actually think the episode is much improved for the 1-2 minutes of additional audio.

    History will be the judge.

    Also, there were so many things I wish I’d said / asked during this episode, particularly when speaking with Kris and Matt. I’m going to listen all the way through and keep a running tally, but off the top of my head so far …

    -The Frankenstein speech in Halloween H20
    -That Breck Eisner (attached to The Black Lagoon) directed Matt’s Invisible Man pilot.

  4. Yep, “Justice League Dark” with characters like Swamp Thing and Constantine … could be really cool. Apparently that and Batgirl are next on the Warner docket for the DC Universe. Anyone seen this animated film?

    I also happened upon this “Justice League Gods and Monsters” animated movie in my research, so maybe Universal can just sue them right back. Man, a Universal Gods and Monsters Universe would have been way cooler than Dark Universe, anyway.

    • Hahaha! I guess I’d just like it to be called the Monster Universe. It’s just hard for Universal to use the word Universe. The Universal Monsters Universe? Too much.

  5. I’m kinda excited that Bill Condon is going to direct The Bride of Frankenstein. He wrote/directed Gods and Monsters (1998) so he obviously has a love for the original Frankenstein films. I think he’s also on some DVD special features for the Universal Monster movies.

    Guillermo Del Toro has an obvious love for the Universal Monsters and I would feel safe having him direct a film from the Dark Universe.

    Tim Burton also loves the original monster films and Frankenweenie really captured that love for a misunderstood monster. I’m not sure that I’d feel “safe” with Burton directing one of these films (especially not with Depp on the Invisible Man) but I know he has a love for the originals.

    • I was curious to hear your thoughts on Bill Condon bc I knew you were a big Beauty and the Beast fan. It’s a pretty solid choice. It’s a great political choice because he is so hot right now. And we know that he loves the source material. Gods and Monsters is a gem.

      • Yea my top 3 favorite movies, in no particular order, are probably Frankenstein (1932), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Beauty and the Beast (1991). It’s coincidental that Bill Condon will be responsible for remaking 2 of those films!

        I thought he did a great job with Beauty and the Beast (2017) and he has an obvious love for the Universal Frankenstein films, so I’m very hopeful for The Bride remake! I think he has enough knowledge, experience, and success that the studio will (hopefully) let him make the film his way.

    • I’m not sure I’d feel “safe” with Burton onboard, either, but it would sure be interesting. I’d rather see ’90s Burton do it than ’00s Burton. By far. I also feel like Frankenweenie pulled it off. It’s perfect. He gave us a gem. Why press our luck?

  6. I’ve been racking my brain on a way to interact with this past episode, but it feels like everything that could be said about the Mummy HAS been said. So I was listening along and then it hit me, but I’m not sure this is going to really add much to the conversation… But here it goes.

    Every monster has certain rules. Vampires drink blood, turn into bats (Wolves, other creatures, not always spelled out), strength, speed, and mesmerism. That’s just an example… so I started thinking about the “Rules” for Mummies.

    This is purely based on my speculation and I might be able to cite a few sources beyond just the films themselves. Firstly, there are mummies in a variety of cultures… The Mayan, Aztec, Egyptians, Chinese, and others have had Mummy films based on their cultures. So many of the rules will also be dependent on that cultures beliefs… for now I will try to focus on the Egyptian-centric mythology.

    1. The Mummy rises due to a “Curse” of some sort… either placed on those who disturb it’s peace, a reading from the “Book of Life” or some other ancient scroll, the taking of some kind of property, and always combined with a past misdeed that led to their being cursed. Either way, the Mummy’s “revival” is almost always a Curse of some sort.

    Unlike most “Undead” creatures, it does not wake with a thirst or hunger for blood or flesh… it is not a mindless savage. It is a scheming, thinking, and rational creature who must find some way to “pass” in society at some point.

    2. The Powers of the Mummy: The Curse is most commonly associated with the discovery of King Tut’s tomb. Several of the people involved with the discovery of Tut’s tomb had died very quickly, which included the presence of a King Cobra in the bird cage of one explorer and the blood poisoning death of another. This has led to most speculative fiction involving the Monster to base many of their powers on the Egyptian Plagues. Simplified: Control over weather (Sand storms, windstorms, rain, et al.), Water to Blood, Control of vermin plagues (Rats, frogs, locusts, ticks, other insects… most commonly, scarabs), Darkness (blotting the sun), boils… the only one that really seems to be missing from most fiction is the Death of the First Born Son. Mummies also exhibit great strength and a small talent in mesmerism. They are of course immortal and many practice Sorcery of some sort.

    3. Weaknesses of the Mummy: The Traditional use of “Fire” as an all cleansing agent seems to work across the board for monsters. Some fiction offers superstitious beliefs based on culture… cats for the Underworld, statues of certain Gods, and often won’t walk in the Sun due to the belief in Osiris. They can often be put to rest through another incantation from a scroll or book of spells.

    4. Goals of the Mummy: Revenge is first… to deliver the curse to those who have trespassed. Secondly, another resurrection of some sort… the calling to the soul of a lost loved one. To protect an artifact, to find a release from the curse themselves.

    So, with that said…

    the Brendan Frasier version of The Mummy is probably the closest we will ever come to a faithful adaptation of the mythology of the creature. It is a far more effective horror film than many give credit, due to it’s similarities to Indiana Jones. But it’s important to note that Archeology is an important aspect to the Mummy as a theme. And, unlike Jones, the Frasier film focuses on the Curse and vengeance far more than is remembered. A character has his eyes plucked, the people of Egypt suffer the boils and the plagues are heavily featured.

    Anyway, there’s my participation… do I get a no-prize?

    • First of all, don’t feel like you have to bring a hot take to the table in order to interact with an episode. We love just hearing whether you agree or disagree and what you’d like to hear more or less of.

      But RCJ never disappoints and you’ve given us gold here. So much so that it could carry an entire episode. And so, rather than discuss it here, I’m going to read this on the show and really dig into it.

      Thanks for the insight. Really interesting stuff to consider.

  7. I thought both interviews were great and insightful.

    Kris totally depressed me with her insights about how studios view these films, but it was very educational. The studios and I are thinking completely differently about these properties.

    Matt brought me hope again when he talked about how much care the creative people take with these beloved properties. I’d also love to hear Matt talk more about his writing. I’ve seen two of the films he’s written 1408 and H20 and I really like them both.

    I think this episode came out about 5 days before The Mummy (2017) which may be one reason why there aren’t as many comments. Some of the speculative questions/comments were answered after the movie’s release. Anyways, it’s still a great episode!

  8. I absolutely loved the interview with Matt Greenberg. It’s probably one of my favorite with someone from Hollywood. Granted, he probably caused Josh to do a fair amount of editing with those bleeps, but it was a ton of fun. haha. All of the anecdotes about particularly Halloween H20 are worth listening to.

    I’d love to hear Greenberg on another episode. It seems pretty rare to find a guest who fits in so well.

    • Plus, I want to hear his stories about working on Mimic. That was supposedly an insane shoot. I’m wondering if he has some juicy behind the scenes about poor Guillermo…

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