Dark Universe, we hardly knew ye! After the disappointing performance of Tom Cruise’s The Mummy this summer (the film earned a paltry $80 million at the domestic box office against a production budget of $125 million), there was speculation that Universal’s ambitious Dark Universe franchise would not proceed as planned. Then came the news that the studio had pulled the plug on pre-production of Bill Condon’s Bride of Frankenstein. Now, things have gone from bad to worse! The Hollywood Reporter just broke the news that writers/producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan have officially left the project. Kurtzman directed The Mummy, and the duo were initially brought on board to oversee production of the entire cinematic universe, which once promised to feature the likes of Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, and Anjelina Jolie in future installments.
Critics have taken great delight in tearing The Mummy to shreds over the past few weeks. When word dropped of poor early reviews and anticipated disappointing performance at the domestic box office, a pile-on occurred where critics tried to one-up each other with witty insults for the film and its participants. I’m embarrassed to say that I also took part in the public flogging (“Smell something rotten this weekend?”, I mused. “That’s the stench of a sarcophagus that never should have been opened!”) Well, I decided to take advantage of the pleasure of sitting in a big empty theater for a movie that isn’t drawing audiences and check out the flick for myself. To my utter surprise, I didn’t find it to be nearly as bad as I expected based on other critical reviews. In short, I’ve certainly seen worse mummy movies! read more
As detailed by HNN’s John Evan’s on Friday, The Mummy’s (2017) abysmal critical reception led to a domestic financial disaster at the box office with an estimated $32.2 million in ticket sales, amounting to a lot less than the average Pharaoh’s treasure. While the studio is trumpeting the global box office as a “victory” with an estimated $141 million so far, The Mummy’s domestic reception could not have been worse for a film that was supposed to usher in a “new age of god’s and monsters.” read more
The Hollywood Reporter announced today that Universal has hired screen writer Will Beall to pen a new film based on classic Universal monster The Creature From the Black Lagoon.
Beall is best known for television work for such series as Castle and Training Day. He is also the writer for James Wan’s upcoming Aquaman film and has been announced as one of the writers on the long gestating Legend of Conan. His only film work to date is 2013’s Gangster Squad.
The Creature From the Black Lagoon is part of the planned Universal Monster Universe which is being guided by Chris Morgan and Alex Kurtzman. The first film in the series will be The Mummy, which is set for release on June 9th of this year. It is unclear at this point where the Creature film fits in this potential series of monster movies (or when production will start), but Universal has a lot riding on the success of the Mummy, and the box office on said film will do much to influence the longevity of the series. read more
In an exclusive interview with LRM, Luke Evans speculated that his film Dracula Untold and his role as Vlad Tepes may lead to his involvement in Universal Studios planned “Cinematic Monster Universe”. Evans told LRM that “There have been talks and conversations. I think the bigger picture is exciting for all the monsters that they own. There is talk about it. I just don’t know how it will all manifest itself. I think it will happen and I think they’re just working out how these monsters interact and how they end up in the same realm with each other. If they can stick Captain America in a scene with Iron Man and Thor, I think you can definitely put Wolf Man, the Invisible Man, The Mummy and Dracula in the same film as well.” read more
Javier Bardem is in talks to play Frankenstein in the upcoming Universal Monster’s reboot. Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan are overseeing the project, which may or may not be a standalone film or interconnected to other films coming
As for the other upcoming Monster films, Tom Cruise will play The Mummy, Johnny Depp will play The Invisible Man, and Russell Crowe will play Dr. Jekyll.
Release dates for three of the films have been announced and are as follows; The Mummy, directed by Kurtzman, is premiering June 9, 2017 release date, and yet-to-be-announced titles are set for April 13, 2018 and February 15, 2019. read more