Universal Pictures continues to expand and invest in their classic monsters with The Hollywood Reporter bringing word that the studio is currently developing a new project titled Little Monsters which will reportedly be a more family-friendly take on the iconic horror characters. Long-time Pixar animator Josh Cooley, who is known for directing the Oscar-winning animated film Toy Story 4 , has officially signed on to write and helm the project.
Plot details for Little Monsters are still being kept under wraps but the outlet’s sources have described it as a live-action hybrid monster film which will be a “love letter to classic Hollywood and the history of filmmaking with a story that takes a multigenerational approach to the monsters.”
The film will be a co-production between Universal and Mandeville Films with Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman set as producers. It is unclear if the studio would also be using a modest budget for the project in the same direction they’re taking with their other monster projects.
The Little Monsters film will now become a part of Universal’s growing list of upcoming monster projects including Paul Feig’s Dark Army, Dexter Fletcher’s film about Dracula henchman Renfield, Elizabeth Banks’ Invisible Woman, Matt Stawki’ s Monster Mash, James Wan’s untitled monster film, Karyn Kusama’s Dracula , the Ryan Gosling-led Wolfman film and David Keopp’s long-in-development The Bride of Frankenstein reboot.
Universal Pictures attempted to create its own shared universe with its legacy monsters; an ambitious project that would have featured the likes of Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, and Javier Bardem. Then The Mummy , starring Tom Cruise, crashed and burned with a middling $409 million worldwide gross and subsequently derailed Universal’s Dark Universe.
Because of that, the studio has decided to abandon the shared universe approach and instead focus on character-driven films guided by strong filmmakers and good stories. The first result of their new strategy was Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man starring Elisabeth Moss and Oliver Jackson-Cohen which garnered positive reviews from critics and had grossed over $57 million in its opening weekend on a $7 million budget.
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