Leave a Comment
With The Mummy's release this Friday, Universal will officially launch its shared world of creepy monsters, officially titled the Dark Universe. For the last couple years, the other notable monsters who've been confirmed to appear in this franchise have been Frankenstein's monster, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Invisible Man and The Creature from the Black Lagoon, as well as monster hunter Van Helsing. However, when crafting a cinematic universe, adding more players to the game comes with the territory, and it's been revealed that somewhere down the line, moviegoers will see the Dark Universe iterations of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Phantom of the Opera and Dracula.
The Mummy director Alex Kurtzman, who is also the main creative mind behind the Dark Universe, name-dropped Hunchback of Notre Dame, Phantom of the Opera and Dracula among the monsters that people would eventually see in this series. What's unclear, though, is whether all three will receive their own movies or if they'll make appearances in movies headline by other monsters, like how Dr. Henry Jekyll has a prominent role in The Mummy. In any case, Kurtzman also told Fandom how the Dark Universe plans to look outside the existing lineup of classic Universal monsters for other terrifying creatures to include. Kurtzman said:
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.
Throwing The Hunchback of Notre Dame, a.k.a. Quasimodo, and The Phantom of the Opera, a.k.a. Erik, into the Dark Universe is appropriate given that they were the first two "monsters" Universal used in the 1920s, both played by Lon Chaney Sr. Whether they will remain set in the past like their respective literary sources or be moved to the modern era remains to be seen, but I'm hoping that these two will have their own movies to shine in rather than be supporting characters elsewhere.
As for Dracula, his inclusion isn't quite as surprising; not only is he one of pop culture's most famous monsters, but in one of The Mummy previews, vampire fangs were seen in Dr. Jekyll's laboratory. 2013's Dracula Untold was also originally being considered to launch the Dark Universe, but following its critical and commercial failure, that idea was scrapped. Dracula also stands a good chance of getting his own movie, although given how many big screen Dracula stories have been told over the decades, it might be more interesting to see him work his bloodthirsty magic in another character's movie.
The Dark Universe beings on June 9 with The Mummy, and the Bride of Frankenstein is scheduled for release on February 14, 2019.