It’s arguably one of the more intriguing of Hollywood’s shared universes – mainly because it’s set to gather together some of the most iconic creatures in film history – and just last week Universal officially christened its interwoven horror franchise to be the Dark Universe.
A simple, if uninspired title, if we do say so ourselves, but don’t let that bland moniker take anything away from the promise lurking beneath the surface. Poised to get the ball rolling with The Mummy – Alex Kurtzman’s fantastical reboot will unleash a whole new world of gods and monsters in one week’s time – so far, there are tentative plans in place for a further four additions to the DU: The Invisible Man (Johnny Depp), Dr. Jekyll (Russell Crowe), Frankenstein’s Monster (Javier Bardem) and Bride of Frankenstein (Angelina Jolie?), the latter of which will be directed by Beauty and the Beast‘s Bill Condon.
So far, so promising. But as part of The Hollywood Reporter’s exhaustive expose on Universal’s Dark Universe, the outlet spoke with box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian, who claimed that, even if The Mummy stutters at the box office on June 9th, there’s still room for dramatic improvement over the next two-to-three years – one need only look to Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman as an example of an interconnected franchise beginning to find its feet.
Elsewhere in the report, THR also claimed that Dwayne Johnson has found himself on Universal’s radar for The Wolfman, while sources suggest that the studio is not opposed to engineering micro-budget horror flicks under the watchful eye of Jason Blum. If that name rings a bell, it should; Blum’s production banner is a hallmark of quality when it comes to the low-budget horror subgenre, and has been actively involved in everything from Paranormal Activity to Insidious to The Purge franchise.
No word yet on which movie Blum is considering, but this is no doubt an interesting wrinkle in the fold. The Mummy, for example, is a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster with Tom Cruise attached to headline, and while that will be enough to attract moviegoers in their droves, we’re hopeful that Universal will be able to add a little diversity to its Dark Universe and carve out room for smaller, indie-styled horror flicks. Variety is the spice of life, and all that.
As for The Mummy, it’ll be with us on June 9th.