Adam Fogelson has become the latest Universal head to open up candidly about his studio’s slate, as the company continues to struggle against a lack of franchises and far too many tentpole false-starts. A lot of mid-size hits are keeping the company more than solvent, but it’s also meant they’ve had the most hesitant trigger finger in the last few years, as evidenced by the shutdown of big projects like Dark Tower and At The Mountains of Madness. Ron Meyer discussed these issues in 2011  with great candor, and now Fogelson has put himself under the microscope and addressed the state of Universal’s slate.

url-5As for the general state of the company and blockbusters he posits that they’ve done more with original material and more modest franchises than some have done with bigger icons. He’s also looking towards a future with lots of reboots of the characters they do have.

“As a studio, because we have not had a Marvel library, a DC library, a Bond franchise, we’ve had to home-grow virtually all of it. Universal monsters are probably the thing people most equate with our library. But monsters are not superheroes. Virtually every monster story is by definition a tragic story. We are developing another Mummy. 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?” I think of what we have done with Fast & Furious, or what we did with American Pie this past year — we had our best year box office-wise and our biggest movie [Battleship] was a whiff, so we did it without a single traditional franchise tentpole movie. Not one.”

As for the specific projects, here are the important details laid out for you:

url-7Fifty Shades Of Grey

“I think that there are totally legitimate questions about what this book is as a movie. I will tell you that it is an absolute priority for us. It’s conceivable that we could be ready to release it as early as next summer.”

It’s going to happen, and probably soon, but they’re still figuring it out. Angelina Jolie is not involved, but he claims very “talented, serious filmmakers” are part of the conversation. He says nothing about the NC-17 claims from the writer, since that’s probably not a possibility that anyone who matters has entertained (at least not yet).

Identity Thief Sequel

“Absolutely a conversation we’re having.”

No word on when or how, but he wants Bateman and McCarthy back in action.


“We made it for an incredibly responsible price [$120 million]. We love the way it’s looking. And Tom will do everything that we collectively feel is in the best interest of selling the movie.”

Interviewer suggests that Jack Reacher dimmed Cruise’s star, which is mostly horseshit. That one did fine, and M:I4 still gives Cruise “fuck you” privileges for a few movies. He’s rightly confident in this one.

Snow White & The Huntsman Sequel

“I don’t think Rupert is pursuing the next Snow White as a directing opportunity.”

So no, the movie will not repair the controversial Director/Star, but Stewart and and her Huntsman (which he refers to as a “role” rather than to Hemsworth specifically) will be back.

url-8The Bourne Franchise

“I absolutely see us doing more Bourne, 100 percent yes. Matt has talked about the possibility of coming back, and we totally respect that and are excited if and when he wants to have conversations. But I think the last movie gave us a big bunch of options to pursue a next chapter.”

He suggets that with a cheaper budget, the more modest returns on Legacy were still a win, and that it also opened up their options on how to approach more films. It’s spin, but fair enough spin.

47 Ronin

“we think that every time he comes back to any version of this genre, it has been remarkably consistent.”

That’s a commentary on how successful Keanu Reeves has been as a global action star, but outright ignores any suggestion that the film is over-budget and overdue.


“I will tell you I believe that we are collectively moving toward Wicked coming to the screen sooner rather than later.”

That’s along with an acknowledgement that Wicked has been a major boon to them on Broadway (they have a majority stake), and that it will happen one way or another.


Source | THR