Leave a Comment
Following on the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe there have been many attempts at creating large, interconnected franchises. None of them have been as successful as Marvel, but many have had trouble simply getting off the ground. One of the highest profile missteps has been Universal's Dark Universe, which was set to bring all the classic monsters back to the big screen.
Chris Morgan was a producer on The Mummy, the 2017 Tom Cruise film that was meant to launch the Dark Universe. Unfortunately, the movie, and therefore the franchise, failed to find an audience. Morgan says that, while he doesn't have any regrets with the way things went, he thinks the franchise tried to do too much too quickly, which was ultimately it's downfall. According to Morgan...
I don’t [have] regrets or anything like that. I think it’s just, you know, I think it probably was trying to come together too quickly, I would say. And I think everyone got to take a breath and take a step back and take a look at it, and now just focus on maybe doing it a little bit slower.
It's certainly true that the Dark Universe had a lot of big hopes very quickly. Even before The Mummy hit theaters it had already been announced that we would be getting movies focused on The Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Major names like Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, and more were attached to star in these films.
However, while The Mummy ended up making $400 million globally, it didn't break $100 million domestically, and that meant the Dark Universe was in trouble before it got started. The Bride of Frankenstein was set to be the next film in the franchise, but it ended up being delayed before eventually being cancelled.
While we haven't heard much about the Dark Universe recently, there have been indications that the concept isn't completely dead. From Chris Morgan's comments to i09, it sounds very much like there are still people trying to make it happen, and it's simply that those people are now taking their time with the idea, having realized that they moved too quickly last time.
Considering the fact that the Universal Monsters were essentially the first cinematic universe, before such a name existed, it seems quite likely that we haven't seen the last of them. A film franchise that brings them back, and eventually together, is not a bad idea, it's actually a great one, but of course, we all just need it to be good. If everybody takes their time, hopefully it will be.