Monster Squad meets Mean Girls in newly-announced feature based on popular toy line.
Universal Pictures has announced that it will release the first live-action feature film based on the Monster High fashion doll franchise just in time for Halloween in October 2016. The toy line, primarily depicting a group of teenaged friends who are based on classic movie-monsters, may not have the broader pop-culture visibility of Hasbro’s My Little Pony line but has built a devoted following among its target audience of young girls since debuting in 2010 (though its movie-monster connection has also drawn attention from the collector and cosplay circuit).
What makes the deal interesting, from a Hollywood perspective, is that while they were previously not officially affiliated, the central Monster High characters draw obvious (and intentional) inspiration from the studio’s “Universal Monsters” (Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf-Man, The Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc) regarded by many as the first major multi-series pop-culture “franchise” to originate in narrative film. While most of the films and their monster “stars” were adaptations of non-copyright sources (hence why Monster High could homage/appropriate them in the first place), their Universal-specific designs are owned by the studios. Hypothetically, this deal would allow characters to more directly reference their Universal Monster counterparts in the actual film.
Created for Mattel by Garrett Sander, Kellee Riley and illustrator Glen Hanson (and said to be worth about $1.4 billion to the toy giant) Monster High has previously been adapted into video-games, webisodes, Nickelodeon TV specials, Young Adult and one animated feature, all of which use parodies of monster/horror tropes for humor and to teach age-appropriate life lessons. Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the creators of Gossip Girl, will write and produce the film.