September 24, 2018

Universal's monster cinematic universe, kickstarted by The Mummy, is in trouble

11 November 2017, 02:11 | Max Haynes

Image via Universal

Image via Universal

Before The Mummy had even made it to theaters, Universal had ordered seven other monster movies to exist within the universe, starring A-list actors including Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise.

THR reports Universal is "exploring its options", which may include finding a new architect to revamp the Dark Universe concept or approaching producers and directors with films that would effectively stand alone, unconnected to a larger universe.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, two of the chief architects of the Dark Universe, Alex Kurtzman (currently heavily involved in Star Trek: Discovery) and Chris Morgan (Famous for writing nearly every Fast and Furious movie) have left the endeavor.

Kurtzman, a co-creator and executive producer of Star Trek: Discovery, seemed to signal as much in August when asked whether he was still involved with the Dark Universe. The next film set to enter production was Bride of Frankenstein, with Angelina Jolie eyed for the lead role, but production plans were put on hold and Jolie is no longer attached.

The source also confirms that Bill Condon (Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast) is still attached to direct The Bride of Frankenstein, even though the film was pushed from its planned February 14, 2019 release date. It grossed $409 million worldwide.

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Apparently, there is still hope the Universal monster verse will be revived as it's possible someone could come along and be the new architect. In fact, the trend of building out cinematic universes might be dying out with it.

He added that Universal are 'not rushing to meet a release date and will move forward with these films when we feel they are the best versions of themselves'.

Tom Cruise's The Mummy was supposed to kick things off, but its debut was disappointing and failed at the box office with a $409 million gross and only $80 million of that coming from US audiences.

Morgan, who has a first-look deal with Universal, is now writing the Hobbs-centric spin-off to Fast & Furious, in addition to television projects. "You know the truth is, I don't know", he said at the time.

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