"Welcome, to a world of Gods and Monsters." Keep that phrase in mind, as Universal's Dark Universe not only marketed The Mummy on the back of both Gods and Monsters, but the studio also hold the keys to its future. Sure, the film landed on its face on the domestic front, but if you look at the international grosses, there's still life in this venture yet.

Everyone wants their own cinematic universe, and Universal is no exception. So with the presumed progress on the Dark Universe's inception, we would like to suggest a simple, six step process to keep the Universal Monsters on the right track, rather than doubling down on mistakes that can easily be corrected.

The Mummy Tom Cruise Russell Crowe Prodigium Base

Step 1: Build The Mythos Of Prodigium

If you read between the lines of The Mummy, you can see what should have been the central story of the Dark Universe's origins: the origins and purpose of the secret organization Prodigium. With easter eggs and nods to other films in Universal's canon littered in the stretch of the film focused on their gothic, yet high tech, hideout, it's the usual tease-laden sequence that you'd expect from a universe building film. Unfortunately, The Mummy really should have been "Prodigium," which could have told the story of Dr. Henry Hyde and his own personal fight with evil. Should Universal want to be serious about involving the audience in its Dark Universe, it'd be wise if the folks in charge set Hyde's story as the true north to the rest of the series, rather than merely include a Russell Crowe cameo to somehow fold Bride of Frankenstein into the mythos retroactively.

Dark Universe Full Cast Portrait

Step 2: Lock Down A Timeline

With all of the monsters that we're looking to have present in the Dark Universe, there's the problem of what order and which eras these films will occur in. As we saw with the DC Extended Universe, you can correct a universe by telling a prequel story, i.e. Wonder Woman, but overall, the DCEU's story would have been better suited if that film was the first one out of the gate after Man of Steel, if not first overall. With a definitive timeline, the wider picture of the story in the Dark Universe can be told more proficiently, as each Monster's story would occur in its own time, with a pre-defined chunk of the Prodigium mythos to fill in. That way, when it's time for the eventual team-up, the story will be set up properly, thus upping the stakes of everyone's presence together.

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