Universal Wants Scarlett Johansson to Revive 'Creature From the Black Lagoon'

Creature From the Black Lagoon, by Reynold Brown

Of all Universal's classic monsters, "Creature From the Black Lagoon" was always the most mysterious: since the eponymous gill-man had no literary precedent or any spoken lines, his creepiness was entirely defined by his appearance, not to mention the film's tenebrous underwater photography. Plans for a remake have languished for many years, but now Universal is openly courting Scarlett Johansson to help reinvent the Creature for a new generation. Will the Black Widow accept the challenge? While it's certainly ideal casting, there's no shortage of tough heroines for whom this would be a golden opportunity.

This makes Ryan Gosling's potential ordeals in Disney's "Haunted Mansion" sound quite vanilla in comparison. The actor has been chosen by Guillermo Del Toro to star in a new iteration of the ride-turned-movie, not to be confused with Eddie Murphy's disastrous attempt in 2003. Gosling and Del Toro consecrated their friendship earlier this year by visiting Disneyland and going on numerous rides together -- is it too much to hope they held hands on Space Mountain?

Opinions have been flying for years about Idris Elba as a successor to Daniel Craig's 007, which many progressives seem to welcome as a sign of... well, progress. Yaphet Kotto, who played the first black Bond villain in "Live and Let Die," is less convinced. "These roles are not written for black men," the actor told Big Issue. "We have pens [to create] roles that no one else has established." Kotto also reveals he was discouraged from promoting his own Bond film out of fears of public reaction to a black villain: "They were afraid people would be angry that a black guy was not being Sidney Poitier. I was the opposite of everything he created."

If you're all caught up with "Game of Thrones," you'll be able to appreciate this illustrated guide to all 456 deaths in the series to date without suffering any spoileriffic consequences (and if you haven't watched it at all, you'll still be able to enjoy it with blissful impunity, since there's no way your brain will meaningfully retain this much info). Among all the numerous human casualties, I spotted at least one poor defenseless deer, killed for food -- if that's not gratuitous violence, I don't know what is.