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Top Producers Depart Universal Monsters ‘Dark Universe’ Franchise as Studio Changes Course

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. read more

Scratch That… ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ Now Removed from Universal’s Release Schedule!

News sure travels fast on the internets these days! Hours after HNN contributor Mark McCurley reported the breaking news on Universal’s plans to release its Bride of Frankenstein reboot to theaters on Valentine’s Day 2019, the studio has officially pulled the movie from its release schedule. The February 19th, 2019 release date didn’t even last as long as The Mummy lasted in theaters this summer!

As early as Tuesday of this week, director Bill Condon told Forbes that principal photography was scheduled to begin on February 1st, 2018, and that casting decisions for the film would soon be made. Now, Variety reports that Univeral has dropped the film’s planned release date from their schedule entirely and moved back pre-production efforts on the project. The studio cited the script as the reason for the delay, and said that Condon is continuing to work with screenwriter David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Spider-Man) to improve the screenplay before production. read more

Universal Releases Official Trailer for ‘The Snowman’

There’s a new dark thriller coming out called The Snowman. Before you run away from this article, let me assure you that it is not a sequel to Jack Frost! This one is based upon a novel by Jo Nesbø and directed by Tomas Alfredson (director of the modern classic, Let the Right One In). It has some excellent actors in it too, including Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, J.K. Simmons, and Val Kilmer.

Here is Universal’s official synopsis for the film:

“When an elite crime squad’s lead detective (Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit (Ferguson), the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.” read more

Universal Releases Title and Poster for ‘Jurassic World’ Sequel

The sequel to 2015’s hugely successful Jurassic World hits theaters exactly one year from today. To celebrate, Universal took to Twitter to unveil the official title of the film and its teaser poster. You can view the reveal below in all of its glory:

So there you have it… Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom!

Stay tuned to Horror News Network for all of the details on Fallen Kingdom as they break! read more

Creators of BBC’s ‘Sherlock’ to Develop New ‘Dracula’ Series for Television

The future of Universal’s “Dark Universe” franchise is currently uncertain following the lukewarm release of The Mummy in theaters; but fans of one of the most popular classic monsters may soon be able to get their fix on the small screen! Variety reports that the team behind the hit BBC series, Sherlock, are reuniting to develop a television series based on Bram Stoker’s classic novel, Dracula. The series will follow Sherlock’s pattern of a collection of feature-length episodes making up a larger miniseries run. read more

‘The Mummy (2017)’: The Horror News Network Review

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

‘The Mummy’ Set to Unravel at the Box Office This Weekend Amid Poor Reviews

Smell something rotten this weekend? That’s the stench of a sarcophagus that never should have been opened! The Mummy reboot, the first of Universal’s action-oriented “Dark Universe” monster franchise, is opening in theaters this weekend amid a slew of poor critical reviews and low box office predictions. Based on early indicators, this movie’s dropping faster than Tom Cruise’s plane featured in the movie’s zero-gravity stunt!

Taking into account of 178 critical reviews at the time of this writing, the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score for The Mummy is currently sitting at an embarrassing 17%. It only gets worse when examining the site’s “Top Critics” score… the Tomatometer plummets to just 8%! The content of the reviews aren’t any better. Multiple critics refer to the film as the worst movie of Tom Cruise’s career in their reviews. Many more simply refer to the movie as “a mess.” This kind of reception doesn’t exactly inspire moviegoers to race to the multiplex. read more

Phantom of the Opera, The Hunchback of Notre Dame Joining Dark Universe?

Dark Universe is reportedly growing even larger.  Alex Kurtzman, the directory of DU’s first official entry The Mummy, recently let slip that two previously-unannounced movies will be released in Universal’s grand monster cinematic world:  Phantom of the Opera and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  This unexpected news leak is music to the ears of horror’s rabid fan-base (particularly of the iconic movie franchises), who are salivating at the thought of the world of gods and monsters expanding even more. read more

Universal Reportedly Wants Angelina Jolie and Dwayne Johnson for ‘Dark Universe’ Franchise

Have you ever wanted to see Angelina Jolie as the Bride of Frankenstein, or Dwayne Johnson as the Wolf Man? Well, you may be in luck! The Hollywood Reporter recently crunched the numbers needed for Universal’s upcoming The Mummy to be considered a success (a $40 million domestic opening weekend, for starters). In their report, they state that, if all goes well, the studio is currently eyeing the two megastars for future installments in the franchise. 

The studio has reportedly wanted Angelina Jolie for quite a while to play the titular role in Bill Condon’s upcoming Bride of Frankenstein. However, formal negotiations have not yet begun. This is likely due to the fact that Jolie commands a hefty fee and the studio isn’t quite sure if their action-fueled reboots of their silver screen classics will become financial hits. read more

The Mummy to Kick Off Universal’s Dark Universe Franchise

To a new world of gods and monsters…..and now to a new cinematic universe as well.  In an effort to replicate the success of DC and Marvel, Universal Pictures has branded a name to the upcoming round of reboots and relaunches to its monster movie franchise:  Dark Universe.  The much-anticipated series of films, which begins on June 9th with the release of The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, will include updates of all classic monsters in the Universal stable including Frankenstein’s monster, the Mummy, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the Invisible Man among others.  The second film in the Dark Universe will be Bride of Frankenstein (directed by Bill Condon), with an expected release date of February 14, 2019. read more