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Despite some solid overseas box office numbers, The Mummy was a domestic dud at the box office and also didn't go over too well with critics. Although it's overall box office was alright, the film's perceived failure on those two fronts has raised a number of questions about the future of The Dark Universe. Now it looks like those questions may be getting some (potentially depressing) answers, as producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan have officially jumped ship.
Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan -- the two big names behind The Dark Universe responsible for maintaining its creative direction -- have officially left this not-so-burgeoning cinematic universe. The two were hired to craft the overarching story for Universal, but now Kurtzman has decided to focus on his work with Star Trek: Discovery, while Chris Morgan has opted head back into the world of the Fast and Furious films to write the highly-anticipated Hobbs/Shaw spinoff that recently received an announcement.
These developments come after Universal removed Bill Condon's Bride of Frankenstein from its release schedule last month, which stood as yet another indication that things might not be going well for the Dark Universe. From there, we have heard practically nothing about the Johnny Depp -fronted Invisible Man adaptation, the rumored Van Helsing reboot, or almost any of Universal's planned Dark Universe flicks. There are currently no scheduled monster movies on the studio's slate and only one not-so-hot film out there in the zeitgeist. THR also reports that right now there is a building on the lot that is quite literally full of empty offices that previously was dedicated to the Dark Universe. Add that all together, and there's quite a bit of evidence to suggest that Universal has every intention of simply bailing on this venture.
Of course, that doesn't inherently mean there aren't options on the table in terms of how to proceed with more Dark Universe films. One viable solution would be for Universal to simply find new producers to step in and get The Dark Universe back on track. We saw similar (albeit far less dramatic) versions of this take place at DC recently when Geoff Johns was given a much more significant role in the development of the DC slate after the lackluster reaction to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Another potential option would be for Universal to move away from the cinematic universe model and merely to hand the characters over to Blumhouse -- whose horror properties have produced consistently positive results for Universal in 2017. By returning these Universal Monsters back to their monster roots (rather than opting for the PG-13 action blockbuster route), there might be a possible way to salvage the remains of Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan's original vision for this franchise.
CinemaBlend will bring you more information about the future of The Dark Universe as new details about the departures of Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan become available. No matter what happens, it's beginning to look pretty clear that this franchise likely won't look anything like we thought it would at the start of the summer.