Friends, I think it is a pretty interesting time to be a fan of pop culture properties like Star Wars, Marvel Comics, Nintendo, Masters of the Universe, as well as the Universal Monsters. A couple of days ago I shared with you that teaser for the upcoming Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser experience at Disney World – something I am quite looking forward to if I am being honest. Then for all of us horror fans a bomb shell was dropped courtesy of Alicia Stella of Theme Park Stop – a video that revealed that one of the locations in Universal Orlando’s new Epic Universe certainly appears to be based off the classic Universal Monsters. While mentioned towards the end of this particular video, the other three locations that will be featured at Universal’s Epic Universe include Super Nintendo World, How to Train Your Dragon, as well as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. And at the end of the day as the Universal Monsters area of Epic Universe is not scheduled to be opened until 2023 – a lot of this is made up of rumors – however thanks to both the site plans and permits that Theme Park Stop shares in this video… we can start to imagine how awesome it will be when completed!
I think it is pretty evident that the folks at Universal realize that the classic monster films that saved the studio in the early ’30s – like Dracula, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, The Creature From the Black Lagoon and others are still just as loved today as when originally released. Look at the ’90s big budget remake of The Mummy or 2004’s Van Helsing, 2010’s The Wolfman, or 2014’s Dracula Untold – even just back in 2017 The Mummy was attempted to be revived as the first entry in a shared universe. While some of the films have fared better than others, it is definitely a sign that Universal Pictures knows these icons can bring in an audience.
Of course in just a couple of weeks we are going to be getting a remake of The Invisible Man courtesy of Writer and Director Leigh Whannel (Saw, Insidious) and starring Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, The Handmaid’s Tale). Judging by the trailers so far, they are not only updating the setting of the original 1933 film from Director James Whale (Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein) but showing us an all too real type of monster – invisible or not.
If you could travel back in time and tell me in my youth that there would be a day where I could take part in my own Star Wars adventure, watch multiple versions of the Masters of the Universe animated series, and see some of my favorite Marvel Comics characters on the big screen – I would have thought you were crazy. And now, in the very near future we will be able to experience a theme park designed around some of our favorite Nintendo game icons as well as stroll through the quaint villages seen in the Universal Monsters films – with Castle Frankenstein waiting for us in the distance? it makes one just stop and shake their head in amazement at the bounty of pop culture related entertainment we are lucky enough to experience these days, right?
I can only hope that when I have the opportunity to visit Universal’s Epic Universe and take my first steps into the Universal Monsters theme park area… that I will be greeted like I’ve dreamed about for so many, many years.