Universal today announced "Dark Universe," a full reboot of the studio's classic movie monsters as a shared, horror-action film universe.
Dark Universe begins very soon, with Tom Cruise's The Mummy reboot. But that's not all. There are already plans for a Bride of Frankenstein remake in 2019. Multiple other films are in the works, and several other characters were teased in the announcement video released today.
For those who aren't familiar with the classic Universal monster movies, we're breaking all of the characters that were teased in
According to the press release that accompanied the announcement, "Dark Universe was begun by core creatives Alex Kurtzman, who also serves as director and producer of The Mummy, the inaugural film in the new classic monster series, and The Mummy producer Chris Morgan, who recently saw The Fate of the Furious, the sixth film he wrote for the Fast & Furious franchise, claim the biggest opening in history at the global box office when it opened on April 14. Also joining the enterprise to inspire and entertain a new generation are such visionary talents as Oscar winner Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible series, The Usual Suspects) and David Koepp (War of the Worlds, Jurassic Park).
"Dark Universe films will be distinguished by performances from some of the most talented and popular global superstars stepping into iconic roles, as well as electric new talents whose careers are starting to break through. While previously announced, the stars of both imminent and future Dark Universe projects are gathered for the first time in the attached photo: The Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s Monster will be played by, respectively, blockbuster icon Johnny Depp and Academy Award® winner Javier Bardem, who appear together later this summer in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Those actors join superstar Tom Cruise as
The Mummy will be the first film released as part of the Dark Universe. Sofia Boutella will play the titular monster, Princess Ahmanet, who is inspired loosely by the Egyptian god Amunet. Tom Cruise will play protagonist Nick Morton.
This will be the third iteration of The Mummy on film to date. The original The Mummy debuted in 1932 with Boris Karloff playing the lead role. Several sequels followed: The Mummy's Hand with Tom Tyler, Lon Chaney Jr. in The Mummy's Tomb, The Mummy's Ghost, and The Mummy's Curse, and and the more comedic Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy with Eddie Parker.
Universal rebooted The Mummy in 1999 for a trilogy of films starring Brendan Fraser as explorere Rick O'Connell and Arnold Vosloo as the Mummy, Imhotep.prevnext
Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde
Rusell Crowe will debut as Dr. Henry Jekyll in The Mummy. Jekyll was not a part of the classic Universal horror lineup, but he will be a major player in the new Dark Universe and help connect the various films.
Jekyll will be the head of a mysterious organization called Prodigium. According to Universal, "Prodigium’s mission is to track, study and—when necessary—destroy evil embodied in the form of monsters in our world. Working outside the aegis of any government, and with practices concealed by millennia of secrecy, Prodigium protects the public from knowledge of the evil that exists just beyond the thin membrane of civilized society…and will go to any length to contain it."
Given that Jekyll, who houses the vicious Mr. Hyde, is at the head of this organization, fans will likely be left to wonder if they are better or worse than the monsters they claim protect humanity from.prevnext
Frankenstein's Monster and the Bride of Frankenstein
The second film in the Dark Universe series will be Bride of Frankenstein, a remake of the 1935 Universal monster movie starring Boris
In the new film, Frankenstein's monster will be played by Javier Bardem. The monster's bride has not yet been cast. Bill Condon, director of Beauty and the Beast, will helm the film.
The original film served as a direct sequel to Universal's first Frankenstein movie and was inspired by a subplot in Mary Shelly's original novel. In the novel, Victor Frankenstein abandoned his experiments after created the monster, but the monster tempted him to return to his work and create the monster a mate. Realizing the danger of what he had done, Frankenstein destroyed the monster's bride and the monster repaid his creator by murdering Victor's new wife.prevnext
The Invisible Man
Johnny Depp will play Dr. Jack Griffin, the Invisible Man, in a remake of Universal's 1933 The Invisible Man movie.
The Invisible Man is based on the H.G. Wells science fiction novel of the same name, which was published in 1897.
Griffin was a scientist was little to no moral fiber. He creates a concoction that allows him to become invisible but fails to find a way to reverse the process.
The circumstances and challenges that come with being invisible, along with the side effects of the concoction itself, slowly drive Griffin insane. He soon turns to a life of crime and violence.prevnext
The Wolf Man
Aaron Guzikowski was hired to write a script for a reboot of The Wolf-Man in 2014. IN 201, David Callaham was hired to rewrite. No casting has been announced, but Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was once rumored to be in consideration for the titular role.
The original The Wolf Man movie was released by Universal in 1941, with Lon Chaney Jr. in the titular role of the werewolf Larry Talbot. He the role in four other universal monster movies: Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, and Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
Universal tried to reboot The Wolf Man as The Wolfman in 2010, with Benicio del Toro as Lawrence Talbot, but the film was a major flop at the box office.prevnext
The Creature From The Black Lagoon
The Creature from the Black Lagoon reboot is being written by The Amazing Spider-Man 2's Jeff Pinkner and Aquaman's Will Beall. No official casting announcement, but the lead role was reportedly offered to Scarlett Johansson.
The original Creature from the Black Lagoon film was released in 1954 and spawned two sequels: Revenge of the Creature and The Creature.
The creature, also known as the Gill-man, was played by Ben Chapman on land and Ricou Browning underwater. The Gill-man is said to be the last surviving member of an amphibious humanoid race that peaked during a previous era of history and that had all but been forgotten.prevnext
Count Dracula's role in Dark Universe is currently unclear. The character was key ot the golden era of Universal monsters. The iconic vampire was famously played by Bella Lugosi in 1931's Dracula. The film spawn two sequels with different lead characters, Dracula's Daughter and Son of Dracula. Dracula himself would return, though not played by Lugosi, in House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula.
In 2014, Universal rebooted the Dracula film series with Dracula Untold. Luke Evans played the lead role in what was an origin story for Count Dracula. The film supposedly underwent reshoots to add some possible connections to the future shared Universal monsters universe, which would have made it the first Dark Universe film, but Dracula Untold has since been removed from the Dark Unvierse continuity and The Mummy has taken its place as the first film in the series.prevnext
The Phantom of the Opera
The teaser for Dark Universe also featured footage from The Phantom of the Opera, though no Phantom of the Opera reboot has been announced just yet.
The original Universal Phantom of the Opera movie was released in 1925. The film was an adaptation of the 1910 French novel by Gaston Leroux. Lon Chaney Sr. played the murderous Phantom, who haunted the Paris Opera House and became obsessed with a woman whom he tried to make into a star.
Interestingly, the Lon Chaney film has fallen into public domain. Universal made a second version of The Phantom of the Opera in 1943 that shared little in common with Chaney's version. The second Phantom of the Opera has a strange association with the other Universal monster movies. The original is usually considered part of the Universal monster legacy, but its falling into public domain means the second version is often packaged with the other monster movies. The second Phantom of the Opera is also the only one of Universal's classic monster movies to win an Academy Award.prevnext
A Van Helsing reboot is also in the works for Dark Universe. The original Van Helsing was a 2004 action movie that paid homage to the Universal monster movies now being rebooted for Dark Universe.0comments
The original Van Helsing starred Hugh Jackman in the lead role, with Kate Beckinsale as the female lead, Anna Valerious. In the film, Van Helsing is a monster hunter who battles Dracula, vampires, Frankenstein's monsters, werewolves, and other creatures.
While there was no Van Helsing movie during the golden age of the Universal monster movies, Jackman's character is inspired by the Van Helsing played by Edward Van Sloan in Dracula and Dracula's Daughter, who in turn was inspired by Abraham Van Helsing from Bram Stoker's original Dracula novel. He is considered to be the archenemy of Count Dracula.prev