Universal has been desperately trying to create a shared monster movie universe for years, and after a couple of false starts (and contradictory stories), they finally got the thing moving this year with The Mummy. Unfortunately, The Mummy was also terrible.
Critically lambasted and with a disappointing domestic box office, the few people who might still have been excited about this franchise have been worried. Things didn’t look good for the Dark Universe, and now the final nails may be going into its coffin.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the main creative team behind the Dark Universe, Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, have now left the project. Additionally, preproduction stopped on Bride of Frankenstein in October, which would have been the next film made in the series. Needless to say, there’s no word on the Wolfman and Invisible Man films.
Universal isn’t giving up hope on making a shared monster movie universe, but it really looks like the Dark Universe plan is dead in the water.
Universal has officialy renamed their shared Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe the “Dark Universe.” It’s a much catchier title, though a bit annoying for those of us who were already using that tag on their blogs for Justice League: Dark related materials. Universal has released a short teaser to promote the change, which is mostly a bunch of classic monster movie clips set to dramatic music.
The studio has also announced that Bill Condon will direct their next film, which is a remake of Bride of Frankenstein. That movie has now been given a release date of February 15, 2019 as well. Condon is best known, of course, for directing the live action Beauty and the Beast which came out this year, but he also notably directed Gods & Monsters back in 1998 about the director of the original Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein.
Look, I’m not against Universal’s shared monster-movie universe. I don’t think it’s actually necessary of course — but if the films are made well it could be fine. With that in mind, the reboot of The Mummy (starring Tom Cruise and directed by Alex Kurtzman) is expected next year to kick it off.
One of the elements of any shared universe, of course, are characters who carry over from one film to another. With that in mind, it’s now been confirmed that Australian actor Russell Crowe has been cast in the film as none other than the legendary Dr. Jekyll.
The part is expected to be small, but as Jekyll is such a legendary character (along with his alter ego Mr. Hyde), it’s easy to predict that eventually Universal is planning a stand alone Jekyll and Hyde film in the future. Y’know, if this first movie doesn’t flop hard or something.
Platinum Dunes’ Brad Fuller and Andrew Form said in an interview with Collider that the ‘Monster Squad’ remake is officially no longer happening. Whether you’re a fan of the original 1987 film or not, I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief now.
There will be no “Michael Bay’s Monster Squad.”
No reason was given for the cancellation of the project, but perhaps there were some licensing issues with the Universal Monsters — especially now that Universal is trying to make a unified Universal Monster Cinematic Universe.
PersonallyI’m glad, as I’m a little sick of regurgitated properties – even the ones I liked (TMNT). Guardians of the Galaxy may have been an adaptation, but at least it was something original on film – and Hollywood should take note at its success.
Combined Cinematic Universes are very “in” right now with the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC’s weird dual TV/Movie situations. Universal, not to be left out has decided to create their own. But they don’t own any comics the way Disney and Warner Brothers do.
But they do have quite a few monster movie franchises.
Universal has hired Chris Morgan and Alex Kurtzman to mastermind the plan, and I honestly am looking forward to find out whatever weird thing they end up coming up with. I probably won’t go see it, but I want to know what it is.
It all starts with Dracula Untold this October, then followed by the new Mummy film in 2016. Of course, if these guys really want their cinematic universe to pick up, they’ll need to release more than one movie every two years.