In the years since the failed launch of the Dark Universe of Universal Monsters reboots, the series has become a bit of a punchline among horror fans, though no one is seemingly as frustrated with The Mummy's disappointments as director Alex Kurtzman, who calls the film the "biggest failure of my life," both professionally and personally. The filmmaker did reveal that it was a learning process, even with all of the film's disappointments, and for all the regrets he has about the picture, it also brought with him a number of gifts as a filmmaker. There are currently no confirmed plans for the future of the Dark Universe.
"I tend to subscribe to the point of view that you learn nothing from your successes, and you learn everything from your failures," Kurtzman shared with The Playlist. "And that was probably the biggest failure of my life, both personally and professionally. There are about a million things I regret about it, but it also gave me so many gifts that are inexpressibly beautiful. I didn't become a director until I made that movie, and it wasn't because it was well directed -- it was because it wasn't."
He added, "And as brutal as it was, in many ways, and as many cooks in the kitchen as there were, I am very grateful for the opportunity to make those mistakes because it rebuilt me into a tougher person and it also rebuilt me into a clearer filmmaker."
The Universal Monsters are some of the most iconic figures in all of cinema, though their big-screen successes in recent decades have been few and far between. Taking a page from the current trend of cinematic universes, the Dark Universe was slated to be an interconnected series of adventures focusing on the Universal Monsters, which would include Javier Bardem as Frankenstein's Monster, Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll/My. Hyde, and Johnny Depp as the Invisible Man. When The Mummy failed to resonate with both critics and audiences, future Dark Universe projects were either delayed indefinitely or scrapped entirely.
"And that has been a real gift and I feel those gifts all the time because I'm very clear now when I have a feeling that doesn't feel right -- I am not quiet about it anymore. I will literally not proceed when I feel that feeling. It's not worth it to me," Kurtzman reflected. "And you can't get to that place of gratitude until you've had that kind of experience. Look, if you look at history and you look at people who've made amazing things, every single one of them will tell you the same story which is that it came after a failure, so I look back on it now with gratitude. It took me a while to get there, but my life is better for it."
Stay tuned for details on the possible future of the franchise.
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