When it was first announced, a shared universe for rebooted takes on Universal’s classic monsters sounded like it could be fun if all went well. Things did not go well.
The shared universe, which was dubbed the Dark Universe, opened with 2017’s The Mummy starring Tom Cruise. Instead of focusing on the horror, the focus was more on making a CGI-heavy action blockbuster. The movie cost $125 million to produce, and made only $80 million at the domestic box office. A nearly $330 million showing in foreign markets helped to recoup some of those costs, but the Dark Universe was in serious jeopardy of dropping dead a few steps from the starting line.
Now comes word that Universal has indeed killed off the Dark Universe, and will instead shift their focus to rebooting their monsters as individual projects with no ties to a connected universe and, best of all, rooted in horror with no restrictions on the budget, the rating, or the tone.
Remember Universal’s short-lived Dark Universe that died an agonizing death when The Mummy opened in theaters to lower than expected numbers? It may have had a short lifespan, but it looks like the Dark Universe could potentially be rising from the grave. Jason Blum, founder and CEO of Blumhouse, says he is interested in bringing the Dark Universe back to life. More on the story here below.
Things have not gone well early on for Universal’s much-hyped shared world featuring their classic monsters, called the Dark Universe. Their first movie, The Mummy, was released earlier this year. Instead of focusing on what made Universal’s monster movies so great, the horror and tone, they instead opted for an action-heavy, CGI-tainted style. The movie quickly became a financial and critical failure. To make matters worse, the talent Universal had hired to manage this ambitious endeavor began departing, and the future of the Dark Universe was already a big question mark.
But it’s still early. Universal still has time to right the ship if they so choose. And one name fans of the original monster movies believe would be perfect to help steer things away from guaranteed death is none other than Guillermo del Toro (The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak). As it turns out, however, Universal already offered del Toro the chance to work on their monster universe, and he turned it down. Find a quote from del Toro and a video below.
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.