When the Dark Universe of planned Universal Monster reboots failed almost immediately, it seemed like all hope was lost for the iconic characters, only for Leigh Whannell's The Invisible Man to prove earlier this year the potential of the characters, though producer of the upcoming The Wolfman Jason Blum doesn't yet know what the future will hold for the character. While the Dark Universe was leaning into the nature of an interconnected universe of these famous characters, The Invisible Man's success was due to its insular narrative, causing Blum to confirm the franchise's future still rests in the hands of Universal Pictures.
"I wish I was the right person to ask this, I'm just not," Blum shared with Inverse when asked about the franchise's future. "They let us produce Invisible Man and they're going to let us produce Wolfman, but the monsters and their fate and the direction and what the monsters mean overall, that's entirely still a question for Universal. I'd love to be in charge of them, but I'm not."
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is both to thank and to blame for popularizing the notion of a shared cinematic universe, as its interwoven storytelling across a number of films built towards various milestone events. Back in 2017, Universal announced that The Mummy was kicking off the Dark Universe, with the adventure planting the seed of the Prodigium organization, whose objective was to destroy monsters, and even featured an appearance by Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, as played by Russell Crowe. The film's critical and financial disappointments prevented development on any other Dark Universe project.
By comparison, The Invisible Man, which was a loose interpretation of its source material, was a hit with both fans and critics alike, resulting in the announcement that not only would we be getting a new The Wolfman starring Ryan Gosling and directed by Whannell, but Karyn Kusama was also confirmed to be developing a new take on Dracula.
The Dark Universe's failure at least somewhat rests on the concept of building a shared universe without laying a strong foundation, but it seems hard to rule out a possible team-up event or crossover somewhere down the line. Back in 2019, Joker became an immensely successful DC Comics movie that didn't directly connect to any other DC Extended Universe films, which only aided its success. However, since that film's release, some fans have expressed their desires of seeing Joaquin Phoenix's Joker from that film cross paths with Robert Pattinson's Caped Crusader from the upcoming The Batman.
Stay tuned for details on the future of The Wolfman.
Are you hoping these characters have a crossover? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!