Published: Thu, November 09, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Is Universal's Dark Universe Dead? Kurtzman and Morgan Depart

Is Universal's Dark Universe Dead? Kurtzman and Morgan Depart

Morgan, on the other hand, has returned to the Fast and Furious franchise and is said to be working on a spin-off film starring the Rock and Jason Statham (and not Tyreese Gibson).

"The Mummy", starring Tom Cruise, kicked off the Dark Universe in June. Kurtzman is now working as an executive producer on CBS' Star Trek: Discovery in addition to a number of other projects he's involved in because of a deal he has with the network.

The Wolf Man, Bride of Frankenstein, and the Invisible Man were all supposed to be getting their own movies in the so-called Dark Universe, but now the creatives behind the project have been scared away. That lopsided worldwide performance is similar to Pacific Rim and Snow White and the Huntsman, both of which earned sequels, but Mummy may not have provided enough enthusiastic momentum to build an interconnected series of monster movies with big name talent like Cruise, Johnny Depp, and Javier Bardem attached.

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After being announced five months ago, Universal's Dark Universe may be dead. One perplexing element of this statement is that Bill Condon's take on Bride of Frankenstein seems like it would have been the very definition of a "filmmaker-driven vehicle", considering Condon's sophisticated knowledge of the life and works of James Whale (director of the original film) along with the incredible financial success of his take on Beauty and the Beast earlier this year.

Now, all of that appears to be in even greater jeopardy than it was after The Mummy's critical and commercial failure over the summer. The studio had eyed Angelina Jolie for the lead, but she is no longer involved, and the film is no longer on track for its slated February 2019 release date.

The follow-up movie to The Mummy is also now in serious doubt as The Hollywood Reporter revealed the current fate of the Dark Universe today. Led by Russell Crowe's Dr. Henry Jekyll, Prodigium's mission to track, study and-when necessary-destroy evil was meant to be the lynchpin that held the Dark Universe together, but unlike Sam Jackson's cameo as Nick Fury at the end of 2008's Iron Man, the idea never caught on with audiences.

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However, there is still hope for the monsters to be revived. One of those paths involves launching standalone films with other producers, possibly including Blumhouse head and horror mastermind Jason Blum.

"We're not now involved in Dark Universe, but it's intriguing", Blum told us in October.

John has loved movie monsters for as far back as he can remember.

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