Ghostbusters and A Simple Favor director Paul Feig is set to deliver Universal Pictures the all-new monster movie Dark Army, which Deadline claims will feature both new characters and iconic members of the Universal Monster library. The only known details about the project are that Feig is set to write and direct the endeavor, as well as the title, though the reported connection to iconic Universal Monsters has ignited excitement and speculation about what the film could depict. The Hollywood Reporter, however, claims that the film won't feature any connection to the Universal Monsters. While Universal has yet to offer any official updates on their Dark Universe of planned monster movie reboots in recent months, we can expect that this film won't be connected to that universe's sole entry, 2017's The Mummy.
The Universal Monsters are some of the studio's most popular characters, but they haven't fared too well on the big screen in recent years. The first of these characters debuted in 1923 with The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but it was the '30s and '40s in which characters like Dracula, The Mummy, and Frankenstein's Monster really thrived. Subsequent years saw the characters earn reboots, with 1992's Dracula and 1999's The Mummy being notable imaginings of the characters, but these films were a far cry from what fans saw in the earliest incarnations of the characters.
In 2014, Dracula Untold was the first attempt at bringing the Universal Monsters back into the cinematic landscape, serving as an origin story for the character. The film failed to connect with audiences or critics, with Universal Pictures quietly moving forward with other reboots.
The studio tapped Tom Cruise to star in a new reboot of The Mummy, leaning more heavily into horror elements than the Brendan Fraser-starring films, while still delivering the action-adventure tone that audiences had come to expect. Ahead of that film's release, the studio announced that the film would be the first entry in its Dark Universe of rebooted characters, confirming that Johnny Depp would play the Invisible Man, Javier Bardem would play Frankenstein's Monster, and Russell Crowe would play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Much like Dracula Untold, The Mummy failed to impress critics or audiences, casting doubt on the franchise's future. Bride of Frankenstein was slated to be the next entry in the series, which earned release date delays before it was pulled from release entirely, putting the entire Dark Universe on an indefinite hiatus.
Upgrade director Leigh Whannell is currently making an update on The Invisible Man, inspired by the Universal films, but it will be a standalone film that doesn't connect to the Dark Universe.
Stay tuned for details on Dark Army.
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