Are you ready for the “Dark Universe”?
Maybe you already knew this, but next month’s forthcoming Tom Cruise running documentary The Mummy isn’t merely a remake of a beloved spooky action film, but the start of a whole new Avengers-style Cinematic Universe, one that will unfold across an array of films that will all feature a different kind of
Brendan Frasier classic Universal Monster.
Since the movie isn’t out yet, it’s unclear how much setting up the film will do (hopefully not much) but there are some pieces in play, like Russell Crowe’s casting as Dr. Henry Jekyll, who will doubtless be a Sam Jackson-esque link between several films. But that’s for people who pay attention. For those who don’t, Universal has announced that it has given its forthcoming cinematic universe a name and a theme song conducted by Danny Elfman that will premiere with The Mummy and all the films it will be connected with. That way moviegoers everywhere know that they are about to experience a film set in the….Dark Universe. No, I really don’t know how to say it with a straight face either, but I should figure out how soon, because it has a logo and everything.
All of this is to make certain that all the mega-franchise ducks are lined up in a row for when the next Dark Universe (ha) film premieres, which Universal officially announced to be Bride of Frankenstein, directed by Bill Condon and dated for February 18, 2019.
That is an unusually long time to wait for installments in a cinematic universe. Marvel and DC are going steady at two movies a year now, and they’re working with very well-established characters. It’s also weird that the Bride herself has not been cast—Angelina Jolie is said to be wanted, but unlikely to be available due to schedule conflicts. However, a few other in-development monster movies have stars attached, namely, Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s monster, and Johnny Depp as the Invisible Man (probably a smart move to make Depp invisible, all things considered.)
Considering both its aggressive branding and the caliber of movie stars it’s seeking, it seems like Universal is trying extremely hard to make sure the Dark Universe happens. Too hard, even. While there’s no harm in announcing your intent to make at least six films (The Creature from the Black Lagoon and a Van Helsing film are also in the works) plus a possible seventh movie where they’re all featured together (something the studio is thankfully coy about but we all know they want it). Well, it’s best to carry on as if those plans will crumble and change at any moment. Because they often do—remember when Ben Affleck was going to direct a Batman movie? Odds are in six months Ben Affleck isn’t even playing Ben Affleck anymore. That’s just the biz, man.
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