5 Unwanted but Upcoming Movie Universes
As soon as Marvel struck gold with its cinematic universe, all other studios wanted in. Sony planned to build an expanded film series around Spider-Man, until The Amazing Spider-Man 2 sent the webslinger scurrying back to Marvel. DC Comics began its own universe with Batman v. Superman, which Zack Snyder absolutely ruined. And even Godzilla and King Kong will soon share a movie universe, and maybe one day we’ll get to see them make out. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg — perhaps to be featured in its own Titanic cinematic universe — as the following series have been fast-tracked. Here are the upcoming movie universes no one asked for.
Universal Monsters Universe
Potential Movies: Dracula Untold, the upcoming The Mummy reboot, and several untitled films about the Wolfman, Invisible Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Bride of Frankenstein, and maybe that thing under your bed that doesn’t have a name but still signed a three-picture deal.
Possible Fiasco: The Universal Monsters Universe (wow, talk about a clumsy title) actually started back in 1931 with the release of the original Dracula and ending with, um, Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein. But the monsters would regularly appear in each other’s movies, making this not a copycat of Marvel’s business plan but rather a desperate restarting of their own. Unfortunately, the first movie in the newly-launched shared universe — Dracula Untold — is remembered… well, not at all. You probably forgot all about it until we mentioned it now, didn’t you? Yes, a reboot of The Mummy starring Tom Cruise may be the spark to make this entire series work, but until then, ask yourself — are you really excited about the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Invisible Man doing a buddy picture in which you can’t see one and can’t understand the other?
Hasbro ’80s Toys Universe
Potential Movies: Films based on G.I Joe, Micronauts, Visonaries, M.A.S.K., Rom the Space Knight, and a whole assortment of action figures your parents threw away.
Possible Fiasco: The success of the Hasboro universe will depend entirely on whether or not Dwayne Johnson plays every single role, including the damsel in distress and all the Micronauts. And that’s where the problem lies — this is a universe built on toys made in the ’80s, and very few film series make a ton of money going specifically after 48-year-olds who freak out when you open their mint-in-box action figure. True, the first two G.I. Joe movies did good business, but most of the other names on the proposed film list are no longer hot properties. It makes you wonder why they don’t just make another Jem and the Holograms movie, but this time, making it about Jem.
Transformers Cinematic Universe
Potential Movies: In addition to the four (and soon five) Transformers movies, a whole host of films that take place before and after the main series (like Star Wars: Rogue One by way of Cybertron). There are also proposed Transformers spin-offs, including one about Bumblebee and, if we’re lucky, the mating process of the Dinobots.
Possible Fiasco: By now this Transformers madness should be dead, not multiplying like a virus. Plus, to build a cinematic universe, you need characters, not just names for characters. How many people leave a Transformers movie saying, “But what about Sideswipe’s upbringing?” On the other hand, a movie about Cybertron could be interesting. Of course, any bowel obstruction could take a fascinating turn. But mostly, the Transformers universe is just loud, visually incoherent, and, worst of all, the most likely to case Shia LaBeouf.
Call of Duty Cinematic Universe
Potential Movies: No one knows yet. Not even the studio. Clearly one or all of the Call of Duty games as well as, uh… name another Activision game?
Possible Fiasco: As of this writing, there has never been a good movie based on a video game. Of course, I’m saying this before the release of Assassin’s Creed and Angry Birds, which will either be great or make Congress pass a law preventing such films from ever being made again. But the bigger problem is Activision Blizzard isn’t really sure what the Call of Duty cinematic universe will feature, announcing a 2018 opening day but then shrugging past any questions like “Which game will the movie be based on?” and “Have you bought any cameras yet?”
Ghostbusters Cinematic Universe
Potential Movies: A new Ghostbusters movie, but with guys. Even though the first two were with guys. But girls are scary and icky to certain types of insecure bros, so more guys it is.
Possible Fiasco: Last year, Sony announced the Ghostbusters Cinematic Universe, saying the Russo brothers (directors of Captain America: Winter Soldier and Civil War) were going to make an all-male Ghostbusters for all the guys who saw the trailers forThe Force Awakens, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Rogue One and freaked out that their fantasy had to let in the girls that frighten them so. Then, in April of last year, Sony announced it may cancel the Ghostbusters Cinematic Universe. Then, in October, they said the universe was going to be even bigger than originally planned. Then, just last month, the Russo brothers dropped out of the film to direct The Avengers: Infinity Wars. And so, as of this writing, the universe is either going strong, finished for good, or just going to be a 63-year-old Dan Aykroyd running around in an ill-fitting gray jumpsuit, making “zot” noises with a cosplay proton pack.