The monsters will once again rise on the big screen. Ahead of the premiere of The Mummy, Universal announced that its own Monster Universe is now officially called The Dark Universe and some big names are already attached to star in upcoming movies.
New Age of Monsters
Universal is tapping into its own vault to create a shared cinematic universe featuring classic movie monsters. Tom Cruise’s The Mummy, which will open next month, will kick-off the franchise by introducing the powerful ancient spirit known as Princess Ahmanet.
To celebrate the birth of the Dark Universe, Universal unveiled a two-minute long motion logo created by Weta Design and accompanied by a musical theme composed by Danny Elfman. This will appear in every monster movie from the studio from here on out. Watch below:
“We take enormous pride in the creativity and passion that has inspired the reimagining of Universal’s iconic monsters and promise audiences we will expand this series strategically,” Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley said in a statement published by Deadline.
Movie producer and director Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek, The Amazing Spider-Man, Transformers) was handed the colossal task as the chief architect of the Dark Universe. He will work with Chris Morgan (Fate of the Furious, 47 Ronin) to shape how the shared cinematic universe will pan out on the big screen.
The two will work with Christopher McQuarrie (Edge of Tomorrow, Jack Reacher, The Mummy) and David Koepp (Mission: Impossible, Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds) to introduce these classic monsters to the modern movie-going audience.
“When Universal approached us with the idea of reimagining these classic characters, we recognized the responsibility of respecting their legacy while bringing them into new and modern adventures,” Kurtzman and Morgan stated. “It’s our hope these movies will engross longtime fans and spark the imaginations of brand-new ones.”
Next on the List
Now that The Mummy is ready to be deployed to theaters around the world, Universal also announced the title of their next monster movie: Bride of Frankenstein. The movie has long been rumored to be in development, with Angelina Jolie initially attached to the project.
Bill Condon of the record-breaking, live-action adaptation Beauty and the Beast will direct the upcoming movie. The actor chosen to star as the titular cinematic monster is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Bride of Frankenstein first appeared on the big screen in 1931. The horror movie was directed by James Whale and was the sequel to the 1931 hit Frankenstein.
Condon’s take on the classic horror tale will be released on Feb. 14, 2019.
Citizens of the Dark Universe
Universal also confirmed the involvement of Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem. A photo released by the studio features the stars of the Dark Universe led by Russel Crowe who played the role of Dr. Henry Jekyll, leader of a multi-national organization tasked to track down evil supernatural beings from all four corners of the world. He will be the link (sort of like Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury to the Avengers) that connect all monster movies.
#DarkUniverse stars (L to R) Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp and Sofia Boutella.
Bardem will play the role of Frankenstein’s monster and he is expected to appear in Condon’s Bride of Frankenstein. Meanwhile, Depp was cast as Invisible Man, based on a character from a novel written by H.G. Wells and was adapted into a movie in 1933.
Rumors claim (via Forbes) that Scarlett Johansson will star in The Creature From The Black Lagoon. Meanwhile, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was also said to be involved in the cinematic universe as the Wolfman. The studio is also expected to once again tackle Dracula. Luke Evans’ 2014 movie Dracula Untold is not a part of Universal’s Dark Universe.