Universal Pictures' Dark Universe franchise got off to a rocky start earlier this summer with The Mummy, which was a financial disappointment and met with many negative reviews. Nevertheless, this shared universe is still continuing forward with a number of installments already in development. Among the bunch is Van Helsing, which, like the 2004 movie starring Hugh Jackman, will show the eponymous protagonist as a monster hunter. Aside from the project's existence, little has been revealed about the Van Helsing reboot, but evidently Channing Tatum is in the mix to lead it.
Buried in its write-up of what the future holds for some of the franchises that delivered movies this summer season, THR noted that the script for Van Helsing is being polished and "aimed" for Channing Tatum. This is by no means confirmation that Tatum will hop aboard the blockbuster, but if a deal is worked out, he would be another Hollywood name to help market this franchise for the masses. Along with Tom Cruise leading The Mummy (which also featured Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll), Johnny Depp is playing the Invisible Man, Angelina Jolie is the top choice to play the Bride of Frankenstein and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is rumored to be up for the Wolf Man. Tatum would fit well among these Hollywood faces.
Channing Tatum's picked up quite a bit of blockbuster experience from working on the G.I. Joe series, the Jump Street series and White House Down, so succeeding Hugh Jackman as the cinematic Van Helsing would be an interesting step forward. However, Tatum is also still attached to play Gambit in the X-Men cinematic universe at 20th Century Fox, so depending on when Van Helsing is eventually released and when Gambit gets off the ground, it's possible the two projects might clash scheduling-wise. Since Van Helsing appears to be several years away at least, it may be a while before we learn for sure if Tatum will join this movie or if Universal will have to look elsewhere for its star.
Van Helsing is one of the more unique entries slated for the Dark Universe, as its so far the lone movie in this franchise that's not centered around a monster. Abraham van Helsing was a key character in Bram Stoker's Dracula novel, and many modern adaptations of the character depict him as a monster hunter, with a speciality in slaying vampires. No plot details for the reboot have been revealed, but Eric Heisserer, the script writer, has said that his version of Van Helsing will not boast any extraordinary powers, instead being an "everyday hero" who has to step up to the plate to save the world.
The Dark Universe will continue with the Bill Condon-directed Bride of Frankenstein on February 14, 2019. Channing Tatum can be seen next in Logan Lucky starting August 18, followed by Kingsman: The Golden Circle on September 22.