If the Dark Universe is being reborn, I’m glad it’s through Blumhouse Productions. Producer Jason Blum has always prioritized a good story over a simple premise, and now we will get to see what he can do with The Invisible Man from director Leigh Whannell.
The film will see Elisabeth Moss as a wife who escapes from her abusive husband, only to find out that he may be haunting her as an invisible man. Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen also star. Check out the trailer below.
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.
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 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.