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In Which We Make A Terrible Pun

And Now for a Game of Good News/Bad News: Universal Has Wicked, Van Helsing Movies in the Works

Universal Chairman Adam Fogelsen had a chat with The Hollywood Reporter about some of Universal’s upcoming projects, and while some of what he had to say had me snoozing (the 50 Shades of Grey movie might come out in summer 2014, at which point I will care about it even less than I do now, which is barely possible), some of it caught my eye. Namely: What was that you just said about a Van Helsing reboot and a Wicked movie, Mr. Fogelsen?

Historically, Universal’s biggest franchise is their Universal monsters, and it’s one that they’ve already shown interest in reviving with their upcoming Mummy reboot. But it turns out that’s not the only monster they’re bringing back from the dead. Says Fogelsen:

We are looking at rebooting Van Helsing because I think the idea for the Van Helsing story was a great way of solving the question of, “How do you make a blockbuster out of monsters?”

My first reaction to the phrase “rebooting Van Helsing” was to rear back from my computer in horror, I’ll admit. But upon further consideration… look, doesn’t it make more sense to reboot bad movies than good ones? Hopefully Universal will learn from the mistakes they made with the Hugh Jackman version and make a movie about a badass monster hunter that isn’t completely awful. Then again, this is Hollywood, so I don’t want to take the whole “learning from one’s mistakes” thing for granted.

And Wicked? Asked why the success of Universal’s Les Misérables hasn’t led to a Wicked greenlight (ba-doom-ch), Fogelsen responded:

Wicked has been an enormous win for this company [Universal is majority owner of the Broadway musical]. The way it works, we should be in agreement together on when the right time to do this is. But I will tell you I believe that we are collectively moving toward Wicked coming to the screen sooner rather than later.

OK, that’s good. Give us enough time to wash the taste of Oz the Great and Powerful out of our mouths, though. That movie looks so shiny and substanceless and awful. But do I have to hope it does well now so Universal won’t put Wicked on the back burner? Ah well, whatever. Fingers crossed that Wicked actually happens.

Fogelsen also dropped a bit of info about the upcoming Snow White and the Huntsman sequel, namely that Kristen Stewart‘s Snow White will be the main character (which we pretty much already knew) and that he “[doesn't] think [original director] Rupert [Sanders] is pursuing the next Snow White as a directing opportunity.” Yeeeeah, we figured. That would be somewhat awkward.

(via: The Hollywood Reporter)

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  • Kate Holloway

    I would actually really like a Wicked movie based on the book. I loved the musical, but the book is a LOT darker (but I thought it kinda went off the rails after book 3).

  • gia manry

    I’m actually 125% okay with the movie being based on the musical.

    It’s not that I mind a darker or more adult take on Oz, but I don’t feel like the Oz in ‘Wicked’ is really extrapolated that much from the original Oz. I always had the feeling that the author– speculation follows, of course –didn’t so much look at Oz and decide to make an adult/spooky version so much as he had a story he wanted to write, and decided to tie it in to Oz for better pitching/sales. It didn’t feel like there was a purpose in his particular version of adult/sinister Oz. :

    …Combined with the fact that I never got into any of the characters and now, a couple of years later, can barely remember the plot and yeah, I’m more interested in a movie based on the musical, personally.

    Besides, if they do it as the movie maybe they can get Chenoweth and Menzel for it :X~

  • Kate Holloway

    I mean, the author’s thing is adapting fairy tales to have more grown up themes. He’s written versions of Cinderella and other stories in the same fashion so I’m pretty sure he wanted a take on Oz and not a tie in for pitching/sales. There’s a lot he does in the subsequent books about the whole history of Oz and Ozma, though I thought some of the story fell apart because it was no longer about Elphaba and the series kept changing the protagonist. It was really hard to finally connect with one character and have them completely change the focus of the story.

    Also, I read the story like a year ago and a lot of it has escaped my memory because at a certain point, I was just like, ok wtf is going on now?! (which is the same feeling I had when reading His Dark Materials.

    I just really liked the ending of Wicked the book and thought the happy sanitized musical glossed over the fact that, no, these people DIED and didn’t just go live together happily in secret.

  • Nicole Elizabeth Currie

    You just hit the nail on the head about my problems with the musical version of Wicked. Don’t get me wrong- I love it. I love the songs, the story, etc….but I hate the ending. If I hadn’t read WIcked the book first (and it’s one of my favs), I think I would have liked the ending of the musical (I’m a romantic at heart), but not after reading the one McGuire gave us.

  • gia manry

    Wicked was actually the first of his adult-themed fairy tales– before that he was known as a children’s writer –so I don’t think my suspicion is unlikely, though I will again admit that it is a suspicion, nothing more.

    I think of the musical as an entirely different product, really, so how well it did or did not adapt the book doesn’t concern me at all.

  • Anonymous

    I had originally hoped a movie version would feature Chenoweth and Menzel, but realized to my dismay that both women are well past playing school-aged girls on screen, which is the majority of the musical. Hopefully, they’d either have cameos or take supporting roles.

  • TKS

    Watching the trailer it seems like the Oz: The Great and Powerful is the story of a white guy, dissatisfied with his life, who is charged with saving everyone from the evil, manipulative woman.

    I don’t know about you, but that feels remarkably fresh to me. I don’t know what you mean by “get the taste out of out mouths.” I could savor that flavor for hundreds or thousands of years and never notice.

  • TKS

    I do agree that I liked the book better (the fascism allegory was fun to read) but I’d be good with the musical too. Perfect world: they are merged and the best of both is presented.

  • Sara

    Pretty excited for the Wicked movie no lie.

  • Nikki Lincoln

    I’m so shocked that someone pushed Oz out without thinking about Wicked something first. Would have loved to be a fly on the wall for that meeting… “Ok, so we have a popular musical with a story and songs that everyone loves that turns a popular story on it’s head and makes it more popular…. nah, let’s re-work Wizard of Oz to make an unlikeable character the big hero that he never was in the story.”

  • Josh Hyder

    I really wish it was based on the book and not the lame musical….