Well the talk and rumblings have finally materialized into an official announcement from Universal Pictures. The rebooted Universal Monsters franchise will be titled "Dark Universe," according to Screen Rant.
The first in this new monster-verse will be next month's The Mummy (2017), starring Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe, and Annabelle Wallis, directed by Alex Kurtzman (director/writer of People Like Us (2012) and writer of Transformers (2007), Star Trek (2009), and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)). Russell Crowe is set to play Dr. Henry Jekyll... and Mr. Hyde?
After the existence and success of the comic book franchises of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Expanded Universe, it was only a matter of time before other studios caught on. The announcement was promoted in a "Monsters Legacy" trailer/promo, revealing the title of the franchise and its logo at the conclusion. While the video does get us excited for what's to come, it sort of felt like a trailer for a DVD or Bluray collection of all the classic Universal Monsters films. It is not until the end that we sort of go, "Oh, I get it!"
The next film following The Mummy will not be until 2019... Valentine's Day, 2019 to be exact, and that will be The Bride of Frankenstein (2019). It seems like a strange date for a horror film of this kind, but maybe Frankenstein and his bride bring about some love association of some kind. It is also interesting to note that this film will be releasing before a Frankenstein film itself, so maybe there is a method to this madness. The film will be directed by live-action Beauty and the Beast (2017) and Dreamgirls (2006) director Bill Condon. Who will play the Bride herself remains to be seen.
No other official films have been set in the calendar yet, although Javier Bardem is in talks to play Frankenstein and Johnny Depp the Invisible Man at some point. Dracula, The Wolf Man, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon are all being tossed around, however as in development. This universe will supposedly be "shared," leading us to think that most likely these characters will pop up in each other's movies. It's a pretty sure bet if the superhero movies have worked that way, along with Dr. Jekyll already starring in The Mummy.
Are you excited to see the Universal Monsters rebooted? Have you seen the classic original films?
The Mummy creeps into theaters on June 9, 2017. Check out the "Dark Universe" announcement trailer below!