Tethered universes are all the rage these days, with Marvel Studios laying out a blueprint for other studios to follow. Universal is attempting to follow that path with their horror franchises, which includes iconic creatures like Dracula, The Mummy, and Frankenstein. You can't have monsters without a monster hunter, however, and for that the studio looking to renowned monster hunter Van Helsing, who is also part of their stable of characters.
Universal tried to launch it previously with Dracula Untold, but the film didn't hit the way Universal wanted, so they went back to the drawing board and enlisted heavy hitters like Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, and Russell Crowe for future projects.
They've also decided to rework their most famous monster hunter, Van Helsing, a franchise that previously saw Hugh Jackman in the lead role. This new version is being written by Eric Heisserer (Arrival), and will interlock with the upcoming Cruise starring Mummy reboot. Heisserer recently spoke to CinemaBlend about the status of the Van Helsing, and how it links to the other films.
"It is right now. This is early in the process, and it's evolutionary. I don't know if that's going to stay that way. But right now there is an absolute... there's some cartilage that links it to other pieces, like The Mummy."
It will need to be in keeping with the tone of Mummy and the upcoming Invisible Man to work correctly, but the premise is ripe for a rebirth, and if done right can launch a new franchise. It really just depends on how The Mummy is received by general audiences.
As for the last Van Helsing, it starred Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh, David Wenham, Shuler Hensley, Elena Anaya, Will Kemp, and Kevin J. O'Connor. The project was released back in 2004, and while it was profitable, it didn't do the numbers it needed for a sequel. Van Helsing made over $300 million worldwide on a $160 million dollar budget.
The Mummy is directed by Alex Kurtzman, and stars Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, and Courtney B. Vance. It debuts in theaters on June 6, 2017.