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Johnny Depp & Javier Bardem Join Universal Monsters

You may be aware at this point that Universal is attempting to take on Marvel and DC with its own sprawling universe of action films. Rather than promoting superheroes, however, Universal is tapping into its own past (and stash of character licenses) to build a universe around famous cinematic monsters. It’s an intriguing idea—though unfortunately one that got off to a rough start. The Mummy was the first film, and critics pretty much slammed it across the board.

Things could get more interesting in the near future, though. Just as DC rebounded from questionable early efforts with Wonder Woman this summer, Universal could learn from the fact that The Mummy was basically overblown nonsense. Plus, this past spring, the studio announced some pretty interesting casting decisions for upcoming movies. Namely, Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem are going to be on board to play the Invisible Man and Frankenstein, respectively.

The Invisible Man is probably the more interesting character (in what we assume will be a movie called The Invisible Man, though we’re not sure yet). He’s pretty much unknown to modern audiences, but that hasn’t stopped him from being the subject of an online slot machine. The game invites players to “join the mad scientist as he evades the police” and even features content and music from the 1933 film—which isn’t a bad introduction for younger generations. But beyond this adaptation of sorts, the character isn’t particularly mainstream anymore.

“The Invisible Man” was first a novel that appeared in the late-19th century, written by H.G. Wells. Classified as a horror novella, it’s more of a creepy sci-fi story about a mad scientist named Griffin, who succeeds in turning himself invisible but is unable to switch himself back to normal. From that point on he turns into a scheming and nefarious figure in town, hiding his invisibility with clothing but using it to his advantage when possible. Frankly, even if Depp hasn’t done great work of late, it sounds like a perfect role for him.

And then there’s Frankenstein. This is a better-known story, a better-known character, and Bardem almost seems like a lazy choice. He’s a tremendously talented actor (like Depp) who’s beginning to be typecast (also like Depp) as an over-the-top creep. To his credit, Bardem has actually joked about the role, suggesting Universal knows he has the head size and general look to pull off Frankenstein’s monster without too much makeup. That’s all well and good, but it still feels like a little bit of a lazy choice.

That said, these are two A-list actors who could bring some legitimacy to the Universal monster franchise, even if Tom Cruise failed to do so with The Mummy. We’re at least intrigued about what’s to come.

About Masked Avenger

CEO/Webmaster of The Name Is James and I love Film ranging from Silent 20's to highly CGI Blockbusters of today. Westerns, Horror, world film, basically anything that peaks my interest I own it But Asian Films are what I Prize the most and Half of My collection Consists of Asian Films. Thanks to the Film 5 Deadly Venoms

I Hail From The US, Maryland Is where The Ninja Studies and views the Scrolls of Film That Shine on his 46" Screen. I own a sword, I can do a thousand upside down situps, and I randomly disappear in smoke when I'm not writing movie news and or reviews.

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