Marvel Studios has announced that they are getting into the horror business, by bringing in the master of body horror to direct the John Kirkman penned Marvel Zombies as part of their Phase IV of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
What a way to start off the next phase of the MCU! There has been much speculation as to whether Disney and Marvel, by acquiring the Fox brand, would be willing to venture into hard R-rated movies, like Deadpool. Well, now we have an answer, and that answer sounds a lot like BRAAAAIIIINS!
It shouldn’t be too surprising that the studio has decided to go down the path of horror, as the growing trend of directors who are known for their horror chops, like James Wan (Aquaman) and Scott Derrickson (Dr. Strange)already have proved that they know how to handle the superhero genre. It should be noted, this would be a dramatic departure for the studio, as it has not created an R-rated under the Marvel banner yet.
Disney head man Bob Eiger also recognized that the current trend of lower budget horror productions like A Quiet Place, It, and Get Outhave proved that this makes a lot of business sense. “We aren’t blind to the tremendous success that horror films have been having lately, and we realized that we have one of the best stories to tell with our own Marvel Zombies. Once Kevin (Feige) and David (Cronenberg) get a chance to develop this story, we believe this will help launch the Marvel Universe in an exiting new direction.”
When asked about whether this was an alternate universe or Elseworlds application, he demurred, “You’ll have to wait until the movie comes out.” Much speculation as to what heroes will actually be in the movie, of course, is dependent upon the fallout that comes from the upcoming Avengers Endgame. As such, no confirmations of actors has been announced at this time, so as not to spoil the final outcome of the franchise flagship that is the Avengers. Oh, the irony to survive a dusting and then become a zombie!
Speculation though, is that this may be an interesting way to enlarge the Marvel Universe with the inclusion of the recently acquired Fantastic Four, and the X-Men franchises from Fox. The Marvel vs. Zombies comic run from 2005-2006 unleashed most of the superheroes in the stable, and was a huge success, but is considered to be a one-off storyline.
Cronenberg (The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, Videodrome) is making a return to body horror after several years of creating dramatic thriller material like A History of Violence and Eastern Promises. “The time seemed right to get back into my roots,” claimed Cronenberg “I’ve always been curious about stepping into the superhero genre, and see what I could do with it. Plus, you can’t say no to Kevin Feige, can you?”
Robert Kirkman, who also penned the hugely successful Walking Dead comic, and monster hit for AMC, has been brought on to assist with the screenwriting along with Cronenberg. When asked about the collaboration, Kirkman noted “I’ve always respected David’s work, and this will be a fantastic opportunity to create something batshit crazy!” Kirkman also noted that there will be blood and guts aplenty, and that this is going to be a gory hard-R film, but that “I think you should bring your kids to see this, it’s going to be a blast.”
Marvel Zombies has been slated for a July 2021 release, and will begin production in October of this year.