Back in 2017, Universal Pictures launched an ambitious project with the Dark Universe, a franchise that was meant to deliver audiences reboots of the iconic Universal Monsters. The first film in the series, The Mummy, was a critical and financial disappointment, seemingly ending the potential for the Dark Universe after only one film. While a reboot of The Bride of Frankenstein began moving forward, that project was ultimately scrapped, with no official progress being made on those planned projects in the years since the franchise launched. Chris Morgan, who served as a producer on The Mummy, confessed that the ambition for the series was too much, too quickly.
“I don’t [have] regrets or anything like that,” Morgan shared with io9. “I think it’s just, you know, I think it probably was trying to come together too quickly, I would say. And I think everyone got to take a breath and take a step back and take a look at it, and now just focus on maybe doing it a little bit slower.”
Whether it be superheroes or Star Wars, shared universes are some of the bigger recent trends in the world of blockbusters, as it allows for seemingly unrelated films to connect to one another without having to be direct sequels to earlier films, yet still retain familiarity with audiences. The announcement of the Dark Universe even included the reveal that stars like Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, and Johnny Depp would become the iconic characters.
Earlier this year, Leigh Whannell was confirmed to be writing and directing a reboot of Invisible Man, inspired by the H.G. Wells novel and the 1933 film. Depp was originally slated to play the character, though the studio has previously confirmed that the upcoming film is an all-new interpretation of the source material and isn't directly connected to the Dark Universe.
“I think Universal’s going about the monster films the right way,” Morgan shared about the upcoming film. “Which is to really focus on taking a good script, good story, put it out there, if you’re going to build a universe build it from something strong like that. And I think they’re not so much worried about putting a universe out there as they are making great monster films, so I’m looking forward to seeing them.”
Stay tuned for details on the possible future of the Dark Universe. Invisible Man lands in theaters on March 13, 2020.
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