In news that will surprise absolutely no one, Universal Pictures is reportedly having second thoughts about their planned Universal Monsters reboot (aka the so-called “Dark Universe”). You may recall that The Mummy bombed this past summer, earning just $80 million domestically on a $125 million budget. The movie did make an additional $329 million overseas based on Tom Cruise’s star power, but it didn’t get things off to a great start. Then last month they decided to delay the next film in the series, Bride of Frankenstein, in order to improve the script. Now this week we are hearing that two of the franchise architects have left and the future is looking even more uncertain.
According to THR, producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan have left the Dark Universe franchise and the related offices on the Universal lot are currently sitting empty. Kurtzman directed The Mummy but now he will focus on his various TV projects including Star Trek: Discovery while Morgan is keeping busy with the Fast & Furious franchise. Bill Condon is supposedly still attached to direct Bride of Frankenstein, but Angelina Jolie is no longer attached to star and no release date has been set.
Universal president of production Peter Cramer claims that they are now “viewing these titles as filmmaker-driven vehicles” and they are “not rushing to meet a release date.” Perhaps they are following Warner Brothers and the way they have started to court big name filmmakers by allowing standalone films in the DC Universe that are not directly connected to each other. Jason Blum has also been mentioned as a possibility as someone who could come in and revamp the entire idea as a low budget horror series instead. Do you think the Dark Universe still has potential or should they simply throw in the towel before it’s too late?