Earlier today, Universal Studios made some significant changes to their release schedule. However, the studio is moving full steam ahead on its projects currently in pre-production. Recently, Blumhouse announced that Karyn Kusama would helm a “Dracula” movie done in a similar style to Leigh Whannell‘s “The Invisible Man.” While Universal is not officially part of that particular project, their first-look deal with Blumhouse hints heavily at another collaboration. This new “Dracula” project joins monster movies in development from Paul Feig, Elizabeth Banks, John Krasinski, and James Wan. Now, Universal is adding another monster flick to their line-up from one of the directors of HBO‘s “Watchmen.”
According to Variety, Stephen Williams, who directed several episodes of HBO’s “Watchmen” series, will helm an original horror movie for Universal titled “Don’t Go in the Water.” Peter Gaffney wrote the script, and while plot details being heavily guarded, the film is described as a “suspenseful monster movie.”
Stephen Williams is an inspired choice as he’s been a creative force behind many of television’s most popular series. Selected by J.J. Abrams to serve as co-executive producer on ABC‘s hit series “Lost,” Williams has directed episodes of AMC‘s “The Walking Dead,” Showtime‘s “Ray Donovon,” HBO’s “Westworld,” and much more. His collaborations with Damon Lindeloff on “Lost” eventually led to Williams executive producing six episodes of “Watchmen and directing two of those six including “The Extraordinary Being” and “She Was Killed by Space Junk.” His work on “Watchmen” earned him a Director’s Guild of America nomination.
Since the failure of “The Dark Universe,” Universal has reworked its entire approach to bringing their classic monsters to the big screen. The studio now encourages filmmaker-driven narratives that adapt these iconic creatures for the present day. While “Don’t Go in the Water” is an original creature feature, one can only imagine that Universal will adopt a similar mentality in bringing this mysterious new monster to audiences.