As cinematic universes continue to become the structure for movie franchising in the modern era, Universal Studios is attempting to take its library of classic movie monsters and transform it into a shared universe that combines horror and superhero-style action into blockbuster success.
The recent debut of Tom Cruise's reboot of The Mummy showed off what Universal has in store for its monster universe franchise; that epic and exciting trailer was a far cry from where the monster universe began, with the lukewarm reception of Dracula Untold, the 2014 Dracula prequel film starring Luke Evans.
However, even though Luke Evans was just recently updating fans about where the Monster Movie Universe was headed, it seems as though he needn't have concerned himself with the matter. Because according to The Mummy director Alex Kurtzman, The Mummy and Dracula Untold are not at all connected.
Kurtzman answered the connectivity question directly during a press event for The Mummy trailer launch (via Screen Rant). He (and other monster universe creative team members) has been skittish all along about how Dracula Untold fit into the plan for the shared universe. The Mummy's connections have been clearly setup from the start: Russell Crowe stars in the film as Dr. Henry Jekyll, which could very well be the next step in the chain. Johnny Depp signed on to play the Invisible Man earlier this year, and other big A-list stars have been rumored for everything from a Wolf Man reboot to the Bride of Frankenstein.
By comparison, Dracula Untold's mess of a story from a first-time director (Gary Shore) and last-minute attempts to shoehorn in a larger shared universe story doesn't seem in step with what Universal is crafting now. And even though Luke Evans is a rising star, he's not exactly on the level of a Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, or Johnny Depp; if Dracula is the mascot for this Monster Universe, then the actor (or actress) playing the role needs to be a headliner.
Does this mean there will be another Dracula reboot film, properly set within the Monster Universe? It seems necessary at this point, so it'll be interesting to see if/how it takes shape.
The Mummy will kick off the Universal's Monster Universe on June 9, 2017.