Disney has Marvel Comics and “Star Wars.” Warner Bros. has DC comics and the Harry Potter spinoffs. What’s left for Universal Pictures? Monsters. The studio is already at work on a reboot of “The Mummy” for June 2017, with Tom Cruise starring as a modern-day special ops soldier and Sofia Boutella of “Kingsman: The Secret Service” as the title monster. Now, according to Deadline Hollywood, Russell Crowe is in talks to join in as Dr. Jekyll and his out-of-control alter ego, Mr. Hyde, with possibilities of his own spinoff.
The next monster remake, due in April 2018, may be “The Invisible Man” starring Johnny Depp. That’s the H.G. Wells story about a scientist who finds a way to become invisible — at the price of his sanity. Perfect for Depp, aka the Mad Hatter and out-there Jack Sparrow.
Universal this week announced a third monster film, for February 2019. One rumored possibility: Angelina Jolie as “The Bride of Frankenstein.”
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You could say that “Star Wars” movies have Shakespearean overtones. So maybe it isn’t such a stretch for Daisy Ridley (Rey of “The Force Awakens”) to take on the Bard. Variety says that Ridley will play the title role in “Ophelia,” told from the point of view of Hamlet’s doomed love interest. Naomi Watts is in final negotiations to co-star as the queen.
▪ Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) and Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”) will star in the political action thriller “High Wire Act,” set in 1980s Beirut, says Deadline Hollywood.
▪ Charlie Hunnam of “Sons of Anarchy” is in talks to take on Steve McQueen’s iconic role in a remake of 1973’s “Papillon,” about an innocent man plotting escape from a South American prison, says Deadline.
▪ “Star Trek Beyond” is due in July, but Trek Movie reports that Paramount has registered the title “Star Trek 4,” just to be ready for another sequel.