Little Monsters: Josh Cooley to Direct Universal’s Newest Monster Project

Universal Pictures continues to expand and invest in their classic monsters with The Hollywood Reporter bringing word that the studio is currently developing a new project titled Little Monsters which will reportedly be a more family-friendly take on the iconic horror characters. Long-time Pixar animator Josh Cooley, who is known for directing the Oscar-winning animated film Toy Story 4 , has officially signed on to write and helm the project.

Plot details for Little Monsters are still being kept under wraps but the outlet’s sources have described it as a live-action hybrid monster film which will be a “love letter to classic Hollywood and the history of filmmaking with a story that takes a multigenerational approach to the monsters.”

The film will be a co-production between Universal and Mandeville Films with Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman set as producers. It is unclear if the studio would also be using a modest budget for the project in the same direction they’re taking with their other monster projects.

The Little Monsters film will now become a part of Universal’s growing list of upcoming monster projects including Paul Feig’s Dark Army, Dexter Fletcher’s film about Dracula henchman Renfield, Elizabeth Banks’ Invisible Woman, Matt Stawki’ s Monster Mash, James Wan’s untitled monster film, Karyn Kusama’s Dracula , the Ryan Gosling-led Wolfman film and David Keopp’s long-in-development The Bride of Frankenstein reboot.

Universal Pictures attempted to create its own shared universe with its legacy monsters; an ambitious project that would have featured the likes of Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, and Javier Bardem. Then The Mummy , starring Tom Cruise, crashed and burned with a middling $409 million worldwide gross and subsequently derailed Universal’s Dark Universe.

Because of that, the studio has decided to abandon the shared universe approach and instead focus on character-driven films guided by strong filmmakers and good stories. The first result of their new strategy was Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man starring Elisabeth Moss and Oliver Jackson-Cohen which garnered positive reviews from critics and had grossed over $57 million in its opening weekend on a $7 million budget.

(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

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