Universal Pictures’ plans for an interconnected ‘Dark Universe’ cinematic world effectively collapsed before they got started.
The initiative came together under the purview of Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, with a writers room developing scripts for films based on characters like Van Helsing, The Wolfman, Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Dracula and more with actors like Javier Bardem and Johnny Depp even posing for an official photo.
Kurtzman got the ball rolling with the Tom Cruise-led “The Mummy” reboot which he directed. However, that film’s critical and commercial failure, a solid $409 million worldwide but a woeful $80 million domestic, ended everything.
Kurtzman has moved on, steering back to the “Star Trek” franchise which he helped reboot for the cinema in 2009 and now is in charge of its small screen ambitions with “Star Trek: Discovery”. Speaking about the second season of ‘Discovery’ ahead of its launch next week, the topic of “The Mummy” came up and he admits to THR he wasn’t happy with it:
“The Mummy wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I’m no longer involved in that [Dark Universe] and have no idea what’s going on with it. I look back on it now [and] what felt painful at the time ended up being an incredible blessing for me.
I learned that I need to follow my own instincts, and when I can’t fully do that, I don’t think I can succeed. Those films are beautiful because the monsters are broken characters, and we see ourselves in them. I hope those are the movies that they make; I want to see them.”
For now Universal hasn’t made clear when it intends to try and get new adaptations of its classic monsters franchise going. The success of rival Warners’ Monster-verse blending the “Godzilla” and “King Kong” franchises however show it is possible.