With cinematic universes all the rage at the moment, Universal have been keen not to be left behind and are trying out their own cross-film universe dubbed the “Dark Universe”, using their classic monster characters including Dracula, The Mummy, Van Helsing, and The Wolf Man among others.
The first film in the Dark Universe setting is the recently released The Mummy, with leading man Tom Cruise and direction from Alex Kurtzman. The financial and critical reception for The Mummy wasn’t so great within North America, however worldwide it found a little more success where it ended up with around a $350 million at the worldwide box office.
As you’d imagine, Universal has a number of follow-up films in the pipeline with Van Helsing, Dracula, Frankenstein and more on the way in the next few years. Alex Kurtzman, the writer behind Transformers, Star Trek, Amazing Spider-man and countless other projects has been part of the main creative force behind the Dark Universe. He’s directed The Mummy, and is attached as either writer, or producer to several of the follow up films, however recent comments indicate his involvement may not continue as originally envisaged.
While promoting another upcoming project, Star Trek – Discovery, he was asked about the status of his involvement in the Dark Universe following the Mummy’s less than stellar performance since release. The response was
You know the truth is, I don’t know. I really don’t know. I haven’t really decided. Is the honest answer.
While his comments don’t actually confirm anything, it’s easy to imagine that following The Mummy, Universal might be giving the Dark Universe a re-think, maybe not in terms of continuing it or not, but certainly in terms of the creative direction it’s taking, which may or may not now include Kurtzman’s involvement.
The next Dark Universe film, Bride of Frankenstein is currently slated for a 2019 release.