Let’s face it, Universal’s Dark Universe was a very ambitious plan that no one really was on board for. Though contemporary takes on the classic Universal monsters sounded like a good idea on the surface, the results were anything but that. It all started with The Mummy, the Tom Cruise-starring vehicle that was supposed to launch the universe. The film performed well-below expectations, and what followed made things even worse for the potential universe. Bride of Frankenstein, directed by Bill Condon and starring Javier Bardem as the Monster and possibly Angelina Jolie as the title character, had been put on hold. Reports stated that it was to fix some of the script issues. While that may be true, it was a sign that things weren’t going well. And this latest bit may be the final nail in the coffin.
According to a new report, the Dark Universe may be dead as key figures like Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan are now leaving it behind, forcing Universal to rethink the interconnected monster world that they are creating. More on the story below.
This Summer, Universal released The Mummy, the first film in their new Dark Universe. Similar to that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe, the Dark Universe would have re-envisioned Universal’s famous classic movie monsters with a modern day twist. The idea sounded promising, especially when it touted a stellar cast like Tom Cruise and Javier Bardem, and it seemed like it had all the makings of a success.
But The Mummy was panned by critics and was a box office bomb, leaving many to question if there was any need to explore a Dark Universe or kick it off with a reboot of a film so soon. So, at least for now, Universal and director Bill Condon have decided to hit the pause button on what was to be the next installment, Bride Of Frankenstein. More on the story below.
This weekend, Universal will launch the start of their brand new Dark Universe monsters franchise with a reboot of The Mummy. Directed by Alex Kurtzman, the film will bring together some of our favorite classic monsters in an all new shared universe involving Universal Monsters. It will be followed up by the Bill Condon-directed Bride of Frankenstein, starring Javier Bardem; Creature of the Black Lagoon from screenwriters Jeff Pinkner and Will Beall; The Invisible Man, starring Johnny Depp; and Van Helsing, from Prometheus scribe Jon Spaihts, Arrival writer Eric Heisserer, and Dan Mazeau.
But that is just the beginning. Because Kurtzman says there are more Dark Universe films on the way. In a new interview, the man responsible for building this new Universal Monsters shared universe says Dracula, Frankenstein, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Phantom of the Opera are being developed. More on the story below.
Shared universes can be a tough sell nowadays, especially now since they can be perceived as derivative. However, if a studio puts the right creative minds together, these shared universes can be very successful.
Universal Pictures will take their first steps into launching their own starting with a reboot of The Mummy. And they are confident enough in their monsters filled universe that they have announced that the series of films reviving the studio’s classic characters for a new generation will be known as their “Dark Universe.” More on the story below.
Given the popularity of superhero shared universes, studios are trying to snatch up properties in hopes of mimicking their box office success. So it is easy to see why some would dismiss one of the newest shared universes, Universal’s Classic Monsters universe.