Though Universal was touting it as the next big cinematic universe, the studio’s monster-filled Dark Universe franchise pretty much collapsed at the first hurdle earlier this year when The Mummy became a colossal flop. Despite the box office might of Tom Cruise behind it, the movie was torn to shreds by critics and audiences shrugged their shoulders at it across the board.
In the wake of The Mummy‘s failure, architects Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan have left the project, leaving its fate in limbo. What it really needs, then, is a true horror auteur director to take over the reigns. Someone who’s able to make popular and critically acclaimed movies. You know, someone like Guillermo Del Toro, for instance?
Well, it turns out that a Del Toro-fronted Universal Monsters franchise could really have been a possibility at one stage. Back in 2007, when the project was laying dormant, the studio apparently came knocking at Del Toro’s door. However, the director turned the offer down and while speaking to The New York Times, he admitted that he definitely regrets it.
“The only time I repent I didn’t do something was in 2007, when Universal in an incredibly gentle and beautiful manner said do you want to take over the Monster Universe? And they gave me the reins of several properties, and I didn’t do it. That I repent. So this is a confessional moment, I repent. That’s the only thing.”
Del Toro is surely one of the biggest fans of the original Universal monster movies around – just check out his house – so you can be sure he’d have treated the franchise with the respect that it deserves. Sadly, however, it was not to be and is now just another project to add onto the ever-growing pile of unmade Del Toro films that sound amazing, along with At The Mountain of Madness and Hellboy 3.
Still, all is not lost for Dark Universe. They have a group of big name stars ready to make some monster movies – including Johnny Depp as the Invisible Man and Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s Monster – so surely the studio isn’t going to simply abandon the idea. Likewise, Bill Condon is all set to shoot his Bride of Frankenstein remake, which was originally pencilled in to begin filming next year.
We’ll continue to update you with more Dark Universe news as and when we have it, but for now, we’re stuck seething with jealousy at the parallel world out there enjoying a Del Toro-led monster movie franchise.
Source: The New York Times