In 2017, The Mummy was meant to launch a shared universe of Universal Monster reboots, only for those plans to have been delayed indefinitely. That film’s director, Alex Kurtzman, has reiterated that he has parted ways from this “Dark Universe” of reboots.
“I’m no longer involved in [the Dark Universe] and have no idea what’s going on with it,” the filmmaker revealed to The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
The Universal Monsters are some of the most iconic characters in movie history, yet this Dark Universe was cut short before it had the chance to win over fans.
In 2014, Dracula Untold hit theaters and seemingly tested the waters regarding audience excitement surrounding the iconic character’s return, with that film being a critical and financial disappointment. Universal Pictures then put all their focus on The Mummy being the official kick-off to the shared universe, confirming that Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, and Russell Crowe would all star in their own feature films as the Invisible Man, Frankenstein’s Monster, and Dr. Jerkyll/Mr. Hyde, respectively.
The Mummy might have earned poor reviews and a disappointing domestic box office return, but the film found more success overseas and didn’t immediately kill the concept. Bride of Frankenstein was the next film slated to head into production, directed by Bill Condon. Ultimately, Universal announced it was delaying that film indefinitely so it could focus on making the best film possible as opposed to aiming to achieve a release date.
“After thoughtful consideration, Universal Pictures and director Bill Condon have decided to postpone Bride of Frankenstein,” Universal revealed in a statement in October of 2017. “None of us want to move too quickly to meet a release date when we know this special movie needs more time to come together. Bill is a director whose enormous talent has been proven time and again, and we all look forward to continuing to work on this film together.”
While Universal has yet to confirm that other projects have been scrapped, their 2017 is the last official statement regarding any of the announced projects.
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