Add another name to the mix of studios trying to replicate the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Universal’s Dark Universe has kicked off with the Tom Cruise-led The Mummy. The next film in this universe is set for a 2019 release. It will be another iconic Universal Monsters property: The Bride of Frankenstein.
In a fantastic promo video, Universal Pictures set the tone for the Dark Universe:
The Universal Monsters properties have been languishing on the shelf for some time now. They include Dracula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Wolf Man, and of course the Mummy and Frankenstein’s Monster. Universal Pictures can now utilize these characters in a modern blockbuster way. Naturally, they are following the trend of reboots instead of original ideas. At least these titles look to be drastic departures from the original material.
This shared world was announced last year. However, they did not have a catchy marketing name until now. Universal has jumped into competition with both Marvel and DC. This method has proven to be financially and critically successful for the former, while the latter has struggled. The idea is to weave together a recurring story across multiple films. This helps cross-promote the individual movies while giving a sense of congruence and harmony.
Universal is serious about this, and are setting up The Mummy to be their Iron-Man 1. Russell Crowe plays the notorious Dr. Jekyll. He is set to be the common uber-villain for these movies. Tom Cruise takes up the role of a military figure trying to save London from Sofia Boutella’s Mummy.
Originally slated for 2018, two more massive Hollywood names have already signed on for The Bride of Frankenstein. Johnny Depp will be the Invisible Man, and Javier Bardem will lurch forward as Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster. Bill Condon (of Beauty and the Beast fame) has grabbed the director’s chair. Needless to say, this series has some serious star power!
Time will tell if Universal will be as successful as Marvel. Hopefully, they will learn from the struggles of the DC Extended Universe. What do you geeks think? Are you tired of reboots, or are you excited to see how Universal reinvent their monsters in the Dark Universe?