The Wolf Man Takes Over…

Why did the Wolf Man “take over” the classic Universal Monster series?

It occurs to me that it may be because Larry Talbot actually had a character, backstory, and potential arc — looking for a cure. Whereas Dracula is just a fiend, and the Frankenstein Monster, post Karloff, a misunderstood and dangerous brute. Both of those 2 (and the Mummy, for that matter), just do their monster thing.

Talbot, on the other hand, can have relationships and built pathos. That’s why once you teamed him with Frankenstein, it became almost unavoidable the films would focus on him. (It helps that Chaney is brilliant as Talbot — his best role.)

It would be interesting to know what might have happened if the FM had retained Ygor’s brain and intellect — or if they’d hit on the Dracula looks for a cure idea (that came about in House of Dracula). Later, a similar notion worked very well for Barnabas Collins (whose backstory has since been folded into post-Dark Shadows Dracula stories).

Of course, I love the Universal classics just the way they are, but it’s fun to speculate.

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About Steve Sullivan 391 Articles
Stephen D. Sullivan is an award-winning author, artist, and editor. Since 1980, he has worked on a wide variety of properties, including well-known licenses and original work. Some of his best know projects include Dungeons & Dragons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dragonlance, Iron Man, Legend of the Five Rings, Speed Racer, the Tolkien RPG, Disney Afternoons, Star Wars, The Twilight Empire (Robinson's War), Uncanny Radio, Martian Knights, Tournament of Death, and The Blue Kingdoms (with his friend Jean Rabe).

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