Universal have officially unveiled at least some of their plans for their monster movie reboot shared universe, now titled Dark Universe, and little snippets of rumours and rumblings have been sneaking out, collected in a report from THR.
First of all, if you thought that the name Dark Universe sounded somewhat familiar, you are apparently on the same wavelength as Warner Bros. The THR report claims that the studio “is mulling legal action”, as their working title for the Justice League Dark movie was indeed Dark Universe, which would presumably have also been used as a blanket brand for any comics and spin-offs coming from that movie.
Of course, that film recently lost its director as Doug Liman backed out and the status of the hunt for a new filmmaker is unknown (seriously, has anybody tried calling Guillermo del Toro?).
Leaving litigation aside, another interesting point in the article is the fact that these might not all be mega-budget tentpoles. The Mummy may have cost $125 million, and the stars involved are clearly very expensive, but the article states that micro-budget mogul Jason Blum “has expressed interest in tackling a low-budget monsterverse outing.”
Blum has his Blumhouse deal with Universal and you can see the appeal of letting him tackle one of the lesser-known or riskier characters, especially given the roll he’s currently on with Get Out and Split storming the box-office. It will be very interesting to see how well The Mummy performs, with the report claiming that it’s currently looking at a modest $40 million opening in the US. However, they also note that Universal is hoping that Cruise’s international box-office draw will prove to be as strong as ever, and that a performance along these lines would be enough to keep the shared universe moving forward.
So what’s next? That’s still Bill Condon’s Bride Of Frankenstein, set for release in 2019, and THR claims that although Angelina Jolie is still the studio’s first choice, negotiations haven’t begun. Javier Bardem must be getting lonely. Oh, and that rumour about Dwayne Johnson being courted for The Wolf Man is still floating around from June last year.
The Mummy opens in UK Cinemas on Friday 9th June. Visit FindAnyFilm.com to book your tickets now.