Some people don’t like it when you reboot a beloved franchise and bring new blood into the mix. To paraphrase an old saying, why fix what ain’t broke? On the other hand, in a cinematic marketplace filled with reboots, remakes, and sequels to decades-old films, what’s the point of reviving an old property if you’re not going to inject some new life into it? That’s likely writer/director Rob Zombie’s intention in introducing a brand new character to the upcoming The Munsters reboot.
Zombie gave his social media followers a taste of the new character today on his official Instagram account. The man behind The Munsters reboot shared a photo of Dr. Henry Augustus Wolfgang who Zombie calls “Transylvania’s most popular Mad Scientist.” Dr. Wolfgang appears to be in the middle of an experiment in the photo. He’s wearing goggles and a bloodstained apron, and within arm’s reach is the exact kind of switch every mad scientist throws before bringing some awful monstrosity to life. You can see the image yourself below.
While Zombie doesn’t say what actor is behind the goggles, figuring out his identity is fairly easy. Zombie adds hashtags for four actors’ names to the post, and the only one not already cast as another character in The Munsters reboot is Richard Brake. Fans of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy will remember Brake as being, arguably, Batman’s first villain — Joe Chill, who guns down Bruce Wayne’s parents in Crime Alley — in 2005’s Batman Begins. Meanwhile, Star Wars fans may recall Brake best as Valin Hess in season 2 of The Mandalorian — the Imperial officer who unintentionally goads Bill Burr’s Mayfeld into gunning him down.
Brake joins the growing Munsters reboot cast which includes Jeff Daniel Phillips as Herman Munster, Sheri Moon Zombie as Lily Munster, and Dan Roebuck as Grandpa Munster. While rumors about the reboot were circulating for a while, it wasn’t until June that Rob Zombie confirmed he was turning the beloved sitcom into a movie. The film is expected to be released next Fall and to get a simultaneous theatrical release and streaming release on Peacock.
Understandably, some fans are a bit concerned about Rob Zombie helming The Munsters reboot. Ever since he’s turned much of his creative life to making horror films, he’s made movies like 2006’s Halloween reboot which proved to be one of the bloodiest scare flicks out there. While the characters from The Munsters may look like monsters, the original sitcom was family friendly fare, and some fans of the franchise are concerned Zombie will be turning the story into something much darker.
However, Zombie has called The Munsters reboot something of a passion project. He’s a huge fan of the original series, which he claims to have seen from start to finish 17 times. He’s also written songs about the show, including the 1998 single Dragula. Since we don’t know a lot yet about the upcoming film, including in what direction Zombie intends to take it, it’s probably best to hold off judgment.