Many of the Universal Monsters have earned reboots and reimaginings over the years, with one of the latest additions to the roster, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, failing to earn updates since its debut, though filmmaker James Gunn recently shared on Instagram that he had tried to develop a reboot years ago after he earned success writing the remake of Dawn of the Dead. Gunn didn't specify why he was denied the opportunity to develop such a film, but given just how many filmmakers have expressed interested in developing such a reboot, he shouldn't take it personally that the project escaped him.
When asked on Instagram about his interest in remakes, he confirmed, "I tried to do Creature from the Black Lagoon right after Dawn of the Dead but they didn't want me to do it."
Given how that 2004 remake helped boost not only Gunn's career but also director Zack Snyder's, it's surprising to hear that a studio might not have been interested in the opportunity. It's also possible that, given the number of reboots that have taken shape over the years, another filmmaker was attached to the project at the time, preventing Gunn from developing his own spin on the concept.
The original 1954 Creature from the Black Lagoon, which saw an excursion into the Amazon resulting in a conflict with the mysterious "Gill-man," earned two proper sequels. However, films like Mad Monster Party and The Monster Squad featured creatures that were obviously inspired by the Gill-man, if not actually being the exact beast.
Arguably the most overt tribute to the character came in Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water in 2017, which featured an aquatic beast being captured from South America to be dissected and studied, only to spark an unlikely love connection with one of the facility's janitors.
Gunn surely isn't the only one with a passion for reviving the character, as The Walking Dead producer Greg Nicotero previously shared that he was also interested in delivering a new take on the concept.
"I think for any creature, monster kid, Creature from the Black Lagoon is the quintessential monster movie," Nicotero shared with ComicBook.com. "I think Robert Rodriguez and I always talk about like, 'Hey, man. Maybe we should co-direct a Creature from the Black Lagoon movie,' because he and I have identical tastes. We love Jaws. We love The Thing. We love Escape from New York and Blade Runner. We toy with the idea of like, 'Wouldn't it be cool if we remade Creature from the Black Lagoon?' And I know they've been trying to do it forever, but, for me, that's the quintessential Universal Monster movie."
He added, "I'm always curious because I feel like one of the reasons why Walking Dead became the show that it became was because Frank Darabont entered that universe with respect. He loved Night of the Living Dead and he wanted to pay tribute to the [George A.] Romero universe. I remember talking to Frank years before Walking Dead ever even happened and saying, 'Man, I would just love to visit that universe because I love the idea of there being a survival story set in that world.'"1comments
Stay tuned for details on the possible future of Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Would you like to see Gunn's take on the material? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!