Despite the fact that Pacific Rim’s domestic box office take was significantly less massive than the studios had initially hoped, big ass monsters are all over the place right now. Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla looms large on the horizon for next summer, and now it is being reported that X-Men director Bryan Singer is teaming up with the Syfy network to birth a creature feature series into the world.
Deadline reports that Singer, his Bad Hat Harry production company, Syfy, and Universal Cable Productions are working to make a show called Creature at Large a reality. Even though the title sounds like a Saturday morning cartoon show or a teen sitcom about a giant monster trying to survive in a human high school, there is definite potential in the premise.
The show is “set in the wake of the US military taking down a giant, rampant creature—a modern-day ‘Kaiju; monster—just off the Northern California coast.” Following this attack, the Undersecretary from the California Emergency Management Agency is given the task of cleaning up the mess in a small town that now has the attention of the entire world. There also sounds like there will be a level of political intrigue undercutting all of the new giant monster concerns. It doesn’t sound like there will be a ton of monsters—certainly not the nonstop monster action of Pacific Rim—but there damn well better be some to augment the more traditional dramatic elements. Political conspiracy is nice and all, but monsters stomping through buildings are even better.
Creature at Large is being developed as a 90-minute pilot, with John Cabrera set to handle the scripting duties. He is most known for his work on Warner Bros.’ award-winning digital series H+, which Singer also produced. That series explored a world where much of the population has a piece of tech implanted in them that allows them to be connected to the internet 24 hours a day.
Though this idea has a ton of promise, it will be interesting to see it develop. As it’s laid out now, it doesn’t sound like there is a full, continuing series here. You get the impression that there is only one monster. Perhaps they’re simply talking about the pilot, and they intend to bring more into the fold as the show continues. One creature can definitely be a game changer—that’s when you realize there is more out there than you thought, and you have to prepare for the possibility of more—but if others don’t show up, you’re going to lose the tension that creates pretty damn quick.
Also, working within the budgetary constraints of cable television, the visual side of the equation has to be a concern. Perhaps they’ll take a Monsters style approach, where they largely remain hidden, and we rarely get a full on look at them. In a situation like Creature at Large, the effects can be either a make or break proposition.