Universal’s new Dark Universe kicks off this Friday with the Tom Cruise lead film The Mummy. The Dark Universe is a shared cinematic universe based around the classic Universal monster films and has four more reboots planned. Now Universal has added two more monsters to the list. In the works is Bride of Frankenstein with Javiar Bardem as Frankenstein’s monster, then the Invisible Man with Johnny Depp and the list also includes Van Helsing, The Wolf Man and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Now you can add the Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera to the Dark Universe.
During the press junket for The Mummy, Alex Kurtzman said:
We know we’re going to do Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Phantom of the Opera, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Invisible Man.
Before they were musicals and Disney films, Universal made the Phantom of the Opera and the Hunchback of Notre Dame their first two monster movies in the early 20’s with star Lon Chaney.
What is also interesting from that quote is the inclusion of Dracula who had not been mentioned until this point. There was speculation that Dracula Untold, which starred Luke Evans, was going to be part of the monster universe, but it was never verified as the film did not do well at the box office. The studio could continue with Evans in the role and just bring him into a later film or they could try rebooting the character once again.
Kurtzman also hinted at some spin-offs and bringing in new monsters.
There are characters within those films that can grow and expand and maybe even spin off. I think that digging into deep mythologies about monsters around the world is fair game for us, as well and connecting the monsters that we know to some surprising monsters could also be really interesting.
The Mummy opens on June 9.