Director John Landis has been stepping up on his soapbox a lot as of late. Last week he trashed the Marvel Cinematic Universe and now he’s set his crotchety sights on the recent, Universal Picture’s Dark Universe. Landis has directed some of the most iconic movies in recent history including Animal House, American Werewolf in London, and The Blues Brothers, just to name a few. In addition, he also directed Michael Jackson’s groundbreaking Thriller and wrote a book called Monsters in the Movies in 2011, making him the go to monster aficionado.
Jonathon Landis’ passion for monsters was brought up when Entertainment asked him for his thoughts on Universal’s new The Mummy movie, which is also the first movie for the Dark Universe. Landis did not hold back and let his monster passion take over him. First, Landis drops some knowledge on the subject of monster movies:
“(The Dark Universe is) not a new idea. If you remember with Universal back in the ’40s, once they made all their classics, they started cross-pollinating. House of Dracula, House of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf-Man, you know what they used to call those? Monster rallies! (laughs)”
Now Landis wants to talk about the unfair treatment of monsters in Hollywood over the last handful of years. He explains:
“And then of course, one of the great ironies is what was considered… OK, it’s over now!… was Abbot & Costello Meets Frankenstein, which is actually a very funny movie and very respectful of the monsters. I think, y’know, maybe that’s one of the problems with Universal’s Dark Universe is that it isn’t respectful of the monsters.”
The director is informed and on point, especially when it comes to The Mummy, though I’m not sure if he has the Dark Universe mixed up with Warner Bros.’ Monsterverse. Landis had this to say:
“What’s happening is the studios now will make a film for $150, $200 million but they’re afraid to take risks. You asked me about the Dark Universe, if you’re gonna make a movie of The Mummy, why the f@#$ do you need Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe?! As soon as you announce that Tom Cruise is in The Mummy, you know you’re not going to see a horror picture! It’s not gonna be The Mummy, it’s going to be the Tom Cruise Show. I don’t know.”