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Universal Goes Back to the Drawing Board as Dark Universe Producers Abandon the Franchise

Universal Goes Back to the Drawing Board as Dark Universe Producers Abandon the Franchise

When the going gets tough, the weak go running…

A not-so-shocking report over at THR says that writer-producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, who were hired as Universal’s “Dark Universe” architects, have departed the franchise.

Just five months after Universal released a cast photo promising a slew of movies starring the likes of Johnny Depp, Russell Crowe, and Javier Bardem — all drawn on characters like the Invisible Man, Wolf Man and Frankenstein in its stable of classic horror films — none of the projects appears to have a pulse.

As the site notes, in early October, Universal pulled the plug on preproduction that had started in London for Bride of Frankenstein — which was to have followed The Mummy as the second entry in the series — partly because execs felt the script by writer-director Bill Condon wasn’t ready. Angelina Jolie had been courted for the lead but is now not attached. Insiders insist Condon (Beauty and the Beast) remains attached, but no date has been set to resume work, and a Feb. 14, 2019, release has been shelved.

“Emblematic of Dark Universe’s problems is the tony office building on the Universal lot that was revamped at considerable expense for the new venture. After being decked out in monster regalia, it now sits mostly empty.”

With the head of the snake lopped off, Universal allegedly isn’t pulling the plug. The site notes that the studio is exploring its options. One road involves offering the IP to high-profile filmmakers or producers with ideas for one-off movies not connected to a larger universe. It’s also possible that the studio could find a new architect who could overhaul the concept (James Wan, maybe?).

Universal president of production Peter Cramer sidestepped the issue, claiming that they’re more focused on getting a special kind of director than worrying about release dates.

“We’ve learned many lessons throughout the creative process on Dark Universe so far, and we are viewing these titles as filmmaker-driven vehicles, each with their own distinct vision,” says Cramer. “We are not rushing to meet a release date and will move forward with these films when we feel they are the best versions of themselves.”

This is a load of crap, especially considering they hired Alex Kurtzman to head the Dark Universe and direct The Mummy, and Bill Condon for Bride of Frankenstein. The extra special irony in Cramer’s statement is that Guillermo del Toro‘s The Shape of Water, opening Dec. 1, 2017, is directly inspired by The Creature From the Black Lagoon, and will be an Oscar-contender for Fox Searchlight. What makes this even more hilarious is that del Toro was once attached to direct a Black Lagoon remake for Universal. Hmmmm?

While Universal may be seeking other options, they’ve yet to crack the Monsterverse with their horrid films ranging from The Wolfman to Dracula Untold. As horror purists, we hope they can figure this out, but for now, at least we have del Toro’s The Shape of Water to tide us over.

Thoughts?



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COMMENTS

141 Comments
  • This was one of the dumber franchise ideas and Im glad they shelved it. Just a bad idea overall.

  • Jay Bennett
    • Josh Blitzenbrox Myers

      Love it

  • Munchie Strikes Back

    Pwnd.

  • marklola12 .

    good, was a stupid idea anyway, fact is NONE of those movies were ever going to be big money earners anyway, they are boring characters some of which have been done to death before

  • Dale P

    “but for now, at least we have del Toro’s The Shape of Water to tide us over.”

    Superb pun work there. ☺️

  • ArmitageX

    This shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone.

  • Josh Blitzenbrox Myers

    Lesson learned: Horror movies are not action movies. Nor should they be shoehorned into one. Frankenstein is not the Hulk, Russell Crowe is not Nick Fury. If you want to revitalize interest in the Universal monsters look to Penny Dreadful as a blueprint, not the fucking Avengers

  • Boldizar

    Maybe Universal can focus on making a good film now instead of a marketing plan of a bunch of shitty movies.

  • pablitonizer

    We saw this coming! The Mummy was a total mess and now they have to rewrite to pretend nothing is connected to that flop. Isn’t it like the 3rd try on the dark universe? Perhaps they should realize some projects simply don’t work. Let the classic monsters alone and focus on other films!

    • Josh Blitzenbrox Myers

      Or keep the classic monsters classic. I want gothic horror to be gothic…and horror.

      Modernizing it takes all that gothic charm out. I don’t want to see Frankenstein with a cell phone, or Dracula posting on Facebook. I want castles, and stakes, and torches, and fucking romainian villiger girls serving lager in busty outfits

      • Josh_the_Jawa

        Hear, hear!

  • Cali-Chainsaw

    Nooooooooo! I saw it coming but still. Nooooooooooo

    • Josh Blitzenbrox Myers

      Your “Noooooooo!” is my sigh of relief. Scrap this awful idea and go back to making monsters actual monsters

  • Creepshow

    I really hope the tides are turning, and people are finally showing that they’re tired of all the slop that gets thrown on the screens. With the exception of a few, the summer movies were pathetic this year.

    • Munchie Strikes Back

      There were movies out this summer?

      • Creepshow

        There were a few, yes. The rest were fecal matter masquerading as such.

  • Grimphantom

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4e99f813f8a8e1fa38c6da1949dcd7042db58dd5a4330b1213d5ed6facc08908.gif
    What a shocker!!!! Welp, just shows how Universal made one of their BIGGEST mistakes since having The Thing released in Summer and going up against Blade Runner….

    You can thank their chairman, Donna Langley, Universal’s SECRET weapon of bringing the big bucks to them…..the same moron who tries to ignore the main target audience and instead of making it Horror, they had this neat idea to make the movies all action oriented….Nice job!

  • Bart Crowe

    So was the Dark Universe ultimate goal to have the monsters all meet and create some kind of dance? A mash if you will that will be a graveyard smash and catch on in a flash?

  • Danny Gibson

    How was the remake of the wolfman not a 10 out of 10? That movie was seriously awesome. Benicio and Hopkins were amazing, it had beautiful gothic sets, great writing, and top notch monster effects by rick baker. Also it was very respectful to the original. We can all agree that dracula untold and the mummy were atrocities but I really really dont understand the hate for the wolfman remake at all. And thats coming from someone who knows just about everything there is to know about the universal monsters.

    • Randy Moses

      I thought no one, and I mean NO ONE, could ever play Larry Talbot but Lon Chaney, Jr. Del Toro proved me wrong. GREAT film!

      • Saturn

        I have to admit that the first time I watch the Wolfman remake I wasn’t keen – but I re-watched it a couple of years later (although this time the director’s cut) and enjoyed it a lot more. Although I still prefer the original movie.

    • I still don’t know why all the hate! That movie is amazing.

    • sweetooth0

      Yeah really don’t understand what people have against that movie. Personally I think it’s one of the best werewolf movies out there, and considering the behind the scenes turmoil involved in making it, it’s a miracle we got something that good out of it!

    • WhimPickens

      Great creature design, sets.
      Disappointing. Uneven.
      One of the best werewolf movies though.
      Insipid dialog, Benecio is great, just not in this…too flat. Hopkins did some decent work with his character, still, typically understated. Weaving was the best, the only sympathetic character.
      Some of the effects were effective…the only real tension and fear the film generated was the suspense of the lecture theater.
      Shame…but still better than most.

  • Laura Kinney (X-23)

    What did they honestly expect?? You know you’re desperate for a quick buck when you hire a talentless, limp dick idiot like Alex Kurtzman or Tom Cruise. I’m so fucking tired of Tom Cruise. I’m glad this ‘franchise’ is dead.

    I will NOT watch anything with Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci or Jon Favreau’s names on it. Those talentless assholes can all go fuck a hat.

    • Jay Bennett

      “go fuck a hat” love it

      • Simon Allen

        I’m dying to know what kind of hat ? 🙂 .

        • Creepshow

          A fruit hat, of course. 😉

          • Simon Allen

            Literally ….. LMFAO !!!! :-)))))

          • Creepshow

            You thought I forgot about that, did ya?

          • Simon Allen

            My alter ego …..Trudy . LOL

          • Creepshow

            Yes. I can’t remember the subject matter, but I remember the picture. And I remember someone getting sooo upset over it. Hahaha!

          • Simon Allen

            I can’t remember what the hell we were on about but yep some poor snowflake did have a bit of a hissy over it …..which is always good value for money 🙂 .

          • Creepshow

            Over a goddamn fruit hat. That was fucking hilarious! XD

          • Simon Allen

            A total classic .

  • sliceanddice

    Fair enough. my idea: start a dark universe with new, original monster. go big or fuck off.

  • le4therfac3

    this whole thing is just embarrassing

  • Simon Allen

    No shocker there i’m afraid . If you are going to launch a franchise or a “universe” you have to do it off the back of a success not the stinkbombs that have attempted to be part of it so far .
    The whole idea of turning all of the beloved characters into family friendly action movies is just lame as hell no matter what stars you attach to them (no big names guarantee asses on seats anymore) ,
    The iconic originals were HORROR movies and popular BECAUSE that .
    Universal might learn from this (but I doubt it ) .

  • Give me the Dark Universe to my hands and I will develop a really good universe with some horror characters.
    We need mystery, good characters, terrifying scenes and some scares, instead Tom Cruise, action, planes falling, more action, explosions, and more action.

  • Lord Elric

    They should have kept Del Toro when he wanted to do FRANKENSTEIN.
    Kurtzman is a hack. That’s why he was hired.

    In fact, even though he’s taking a break, maybe they SHOULD call Del Toro…

  • Cappy Tally

    Guillermo Del Toro is the guy they should have gone to. He’d be able to do for the classic monsters what Kevin Feige has done so well for the Marvel characters.

    • Josh_the_Jawa

      Yes! He would have been perfect.

  • Darin Tino

    Not claiming to be some kind of Nostradamus because quite frankly, even Stevie Wonder saw this coming.

    https://tinseltowntakedown.com/2017/09/11/dark-universe-monster-crash/

  • DaddyKo

    I like Dracula Untold and The Wolfman but Ths Mummy was pretty bad.

  • Phillip Dunbar

    First, don’t make a show of having a connected universe so early. Iron Man and Incredible Hulk hinted at it but didn’t ram it home until Captain America.

    Second, build your roster’s characters and play to their strengths before deconstructing them. Or better yet, leave that out. The better monster stories often leave as much to imagination as possible.

    Third, quit trying to make them fun. They’re called the Universal MONSTERS. The last thing they should be is fun. Dracula and the Mummy are terrorists trying to amass numbers for a campaign against those that cursed them. Gillman and Wolfman are predators, one whose habitat is being encroached upon and the latter is a tragic figure whose world has been stripped from his grasp and tossed into a world of pain and humiliation. Frankenstein’s story is of an overreaching idealist whose path to triumph leads straight to hell. His monster and it’s bride are reflections of humanity’s inequity to man and our need to belong no matter the cost. The Invisible Man is how absolute power both corrupts and destroys absolutely. Jekyll and Hyde is redundant, as they’ve both the Wolfman and Invisible Man.

  • Alanmac

    Stop trying to make them into action movies full of CGI with big name actors. Just a thought.

  • Daucus Karota

    Penny Dreadful.

  • The G*d D*mn John Petrie

    From the start their concept seemed to be to make 6 or 7 movies no one really wants to sit through to get to a big shared universe finale that nobody really cares about…

  • DSCohen

    I don’t get the “This is a load of crap” comment. Cramer said they wouldn’t make the film until it was the right level of quality. How is that crap?

    The intro to the article “When the going gets tough, the weak go running…” How is trying to go back and make it work and make it better “weak” and “running”?

    Most of this article is well written and professional journalism, but that into statement and the crap comment made it into an armature trolling blog post. You can do better.

    • Johnny

      They felt like The Mummy was the “right level of quality”. You still trust these people’s opinions?

  • GunsOfNavarone

    How Kurtzman gets work is beyond me, he’s a horrible writer and now director too. Lets hope no other studio is stupid enough to touch him.

    • Jordann William Edwards

      Hope and pray.

      He should have been left out in the streets.

  • Travis_Bickle

    How hard is it to make a good monster movie, when you already have the source material?

  • Dirty Frank

    Maybe if they’d actually tried to make a good horror film instead of a mediocre action movie version ripoff of Lifeforce and American Werewolf, they’d have had more success. What a stupid concept this was – horror icons with no horror, in kid and family friendly action flicks. Hopefully if they revisit the Universal monsters they actually make horror films next time. What a bunch of idiots.

    • Necro

      Spoken like a true prodigy! Well said Dirty! Yep it’s like they took a high dive in a low well.

      • Dirty Frank

        No kidding.

  • MrX13

    Being a fan of old time horror classics such as Dracula, Frankenstein, WolfMan, etc this was a disappointment. I enjoyed The Mummy with Tom Cruise but it could have been a lot better. It would have been nice to see this shared universe. Hopefully something better can come of it

  • Christopher Alan Arsenault

    The Mummy wasn’t any good and nobody wants to see Tom Cruise movies anymore. He crazy.

  • WALKTER

    Just stop trying to make everything a franchise, geez. Even better, watch what DC does and do the opposite.

  • HalesTales

    DING-DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD! For now at least.

    “offering the IP to high-profile filmmakers or producers with ideas for one-off movies not connected to a larger universe.” So you mean telling stories that people came up with independently of a grand scheme and are passionate about? DUH

  • Saturn

    Just licence the characters to Marvel so they can use them in more “horror” related movies, for example Blade or Werewolf By Night, and tie them into the Dr Strange movies..

    • Cappy Tally

      No need. Marvel has their own versions of most of the classic monsters already. They have their own Dracula and Frankenstein Monster, they have Werewolf By Night, they have the Living Mummy, so on and so forth. They could do a Legion of Monsters movie RIGHT NOW if they wanted to.

      • Saturn

        Really?
        I’m not really a comic book guy (although I do confess to reading the Evil Dead/Army Of Darkness stuff, alongside Hack/Slash) – and when I was (when I was much younger during the 1980’s) I was more DC than Marvel.
        It would be interesting though if they did add a few more of their horror style characters into the MCU, even if only at the tv level.

        • Cappy Tally

          Oh yeah. In the 70s Marvel had a bunch of horror comics. I’ve heard it argued that their long running Tomb of Dracula is a contender for greatest horror comic series ever published. They also had a series called Monster of Frankenstein that I thought was pretty great, with awesome art by Mike Ploog. Mister Hyde has faced off with various Avengers on a regular basis over the years. I could go on and on.

          And the fun thing is, Marvel has a bunch of home grown monster characters who would fit in with them. Morbius, the living vampire. Blade. Man-Thing. Hellstorm. Satana. Even Ghost Rider.

          In recent years Marvel decided to have an entire underground city where monsters go to avoid persecution. And I mean it’s literally underground, beneath NYC if I recall correctly.

          There’s literally NOTHING holding Marvel back from doing their own films or TV shows utilizing the classic monsters in some form, because they literally have their own versions of just about all of them. And you know what’s really funny? DC also has their own versions of most of the classic monsters too, with a really fun take on Frankenstein in particular.

    • biff

      Forget Marvel — Warren Publishing hit the head on the nail with their horror titles long ago: Creepy and Eerie continued the path forged by the EC Comics past the CCA restrictions, and have put out a trove of wonderfully twisted tales. For those of you who do know about comics they were headed up by the late, great Archie Goodwin — possibly one of the most respected names in the industry. Obviously, Vampirella would make an excellent franchise in the right hands, as would time-travelling gunslinger The Rook.

  • Paul Counelis

    The Wolfman was not horrid.

    • Yeah, I actually kind-of liked it. Don’t get me wrong, it suffered from its rushed production, but it definitely got the tone and style right, and would have been the perfect start to a new Universal Monsters universe.

      • Necro

        100% agree!

  • YES! Maybe the next attempt at a cinematic universe won’t try to transform these horror-monster characters into something they’re clearly not.

  • Necro

    Monsters are found in the Horror genre, meaning they work a lot better in a Horror movie. I mean that was established how long ago? Anyway back to the 2+2=5 company that is……..sorry……..was trying to make family friendly Action films with a pin prick of Horror included. Big name A list actors and a ‘shared Universe’ that was doomed as soon as they green lit ‘The Dummy’ sorry ‘The Mummy’! Don’t get me wrong I love the Classics, but this whole concept was a joke. Maybe they should go back and watch these films from 50-60 years ago and see where they went wrong. I love the Horror genre and want to see it succeed in every way possible, so maybe everything does happen for a reason.

    • Uranus

      Monster movie is its own genre that’s not exactly horror. The problem is the whole expanded universe, when Universal could’ve decided to just revive the monster movie genre by releasing unconnected monster movies, each of which tells a complete, self-contained story. Their theme and tone could be connected, but not characters. That’s what people want right now – a complete, self-contained film. Had The Mummy been that, it would’ve fared much, much better.

      • Necro

        I hear ya! Question though when you hear someone say ‘Dracula’, or ‘Wolfman’ etc. you don’t think of the Horror genre? Not being rude either cuz I do agree with most of your comment.

  • Mamet006

    Last I checked David Koepp and Christopher McQuarrie are still attached to the Dark Universe. These two guys leaving don’t mean jack.

  • Tips for creating a new Universal Monsters universe:

    1. Don’t try to transform these characters into action heroes for the sake of reaching the largest audience possible, or for hopelessly competing with another studio. No more monster superheroes. These are horror characters. Would you turn Superman into a slasher film?

    2. The old Universal Monsters films (Dracula, The Wolfman, ETC) often relied heavily on mood and atmosphere, rather than excessive jump scares. Seek out directors that have a great visual eye for this sort of thing.

    3. DON’T RUSH. Take your time in developing the universe and start off by focusing on making great standalone films at first.

    https://mindreels.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/1941_wolfman_img3.jpg

  • EvilHead1981

    Echoing what a lot of people here are saying, keep it horror. Super hero/action “cinematic universes” are a-plenty. It is stupid to want the Universal Monsters to be a group of Avengers-like heroes. Stephen King’s got his universe down in his books, and it’s pretty much centered around horror (and fantasy to an extent). There’s been times where studios have crossed over to try to create a shared universe, but it didn’t last beyond an installment or so. Universal, they got all their monsters, they can (if they wanted) make a cool as hell horror cinematic universe that focuses on creeps and scares rather than action and adventure.

  • Was anyone in Hollywood taking notes about the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The fact that it started out as some stand alone movies that had fun interconnections but weren’t necessarily a “universe.” Then, once they had established that these movies did exist in the same world as each other, they began strengthening the bonds, cross-overs and team-ups. It arose organically. It wasn’t an out-of-the-box, “Let’s make a giant interconnected, money-making, juggernaut franchise.”

    Yes, it’s debatable whether the MCU is “art,” but the studios get so caught up in these ideas where they want to start cashing the checks before the cameras are even rolling that they can’t help but set themselves up for failure.

    And I’m pissed that Condon’s Bride of Frankenstein is being delayed (if we’ll ever see it at all) because I was thinking of it as a companion piece to Gods and Monsters. I’m hoping they will still go forward with it and maybe this “new direction” will allow it to fit more in with Gods and Monsters as a piece (not a “sequel” or anything, but more like a “spiritual brethren” to the film).

  • SiliconAddic

    This is what happens when you rush things to try and get a cash grab. Iron Man was the first movie in Phase 1 of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. There is no reference to anything bigger in the movie other than the teaser at the end of the credits. Universal was in such a rush they even put a trailer out unfinished. WTF? The Mummy could have been fantastic if:
    -You didn’t have Tom “I’m a prima donna and screw the director its all about me” Cruise.
    -You cut out the Russell Crowe equivalent of Nick Fury or scaled it back to a scene. You did not NEED that in the movie. This is about the Mummy. Not about Universal’s equivalent of SHIELD.
    -That leads into the core problem of this movie. It has an identity crisis. This movie didn’t even show the Mummy until almost halfway through it. The reason for her to get vengeance on the world!?? Because the Pharaoh had a child?!?! She killed the Pharaoh, she killed the kid.
    -They used every trope in the book with this movie. The biggest rip off that seriously pissed me off with the main character’s bud who is some sort of ghost. A complete and total ripoff of American Werewolf in London/Paris. I could deal with if it was just that but there are so many in this movie that it’s busting at the seams with BS.
    -The Brendan Fraser Mummy didn’t take itself too serious. And that worked as a lighthearted adventure. This thing was….A mess.
    -WTF was up with the first 5 minutes of the movie. Ancient London, back to modern London, back to Ancient Egypt, Back to Modern Iraq. Consistency please?!?
    – And that ending. I won’t say what it was, but fuck. What the hell was that? What did we end up with?
    The entire movie was a convoluted mess. The plot was obviously tinkered with to give Cruise more screentime. From what I’ve read he brought in his own writer to “assist” with the script.

    But seriously. When your opening logo for the movie is DARK UNIVERSE….Putting the cart before the horse much? This movie should have been about the Mummy first, Cruise’s character a distant second. (Also WTF, he’s in the military stealing priceless artifacts and his higher ups are OK with this!?!) And the Dark Universe a very distance teaser at the end third.

    • J Jett

      SiliconAddic, i agree w/ you 100%.

    • Michael Peterson

      It was horrible

  • Melody Cooper

    OK. It’s pretty simple.
    ONE: You’re trying to reboot? How about paying attention to what AUDIENCES are watching and WHO is out there creating fresh, new work. Anybody see GET OUT? THE BABADOOK?
    TWO: It’s not the director they have to focus on first. It’s the writer. Without a good, well honed story, nothing will work. Especially in this genre. Trust me.
    THREE: (Referencing ONE) Try a person of color or a woman as director or/and writer. Everyone mentioned and attached have been White and Male. I have nothing against White males. But we need new voices, perspectives and a chance for other artists to bring their talent to the table to wake up these war horses. I mean, for God’s sake “Frankenstein” was originally written BY A WOMAN. Does no one see the irony in women not being involved in this project??

    • Saturn

      Babadook was directed by a woman too – so, 2 birds 1 stone, hire HER for a new take on Frankenstein.

      • zombie84_41

        she was a good director. I don’t know any other good female directors beside’s her and maybe two others.

        • Edwina Gein

          Julia Ducournau, Karyn Kusama, Carol Morley, Ana Lily, Leigh Janiak, the Soska sisters… all women, all directors of newer well-received horror movies

          • Melody Cooper

            ALSO: Dee Rees. she’s directing a horror project for Blumhouse and her work on MUDBOUND was amazing. Ava DuVernay could probably pull it off.

          • zombie84_41

            i never saw a girl walks home, but the bad batch was terrible it was just a mess. It tried to be something but just wasnt. I wasnt a fan of Raw either another movie that could have been great but failed. there was nothing happening at all just two sisters who beat the shit out of each other and eat people. maybe there was some hidden message I was missing but I was let down hugely because alot of people raved about how sick and gory and messed up was and I was left wondering why. But Leigh is awesome hope she does a good job with the craft. I loved Honeymoon a lot a real lot.

            also like to say just because I hated those other movies doesnt mean I hate the directors themself sometimes you just dont make good movies doesnt mean you cant make something amazing.

        • Melody Cooper

          Karyn Kusama was my pick too. Kathryn Bigelow. Jennifer Kent is the Babadook director. Antonia Bird (Ravenous). And all yours Edwina

          • ChowYunPhat

            Karyn Kusama should be getting offered every project under the sun. The Invitation was damn near perfect and Jennifer’s Body is criminally underrated.

          • zombie84_41

            antonia bird died though a while ago which sucks. I know there are alot of great women writers too but sadly dont know any names either. Honestly women need to be heard more in the horror industry as well. But there is one thing i gotta say some women shouldnt be makin horror AT ALL because that movie XX was garbage pure garbage I wanted it to be great so bad and was let down so terrible even Kusama didnt do well in it. Just a terrible movie in general. I know in season 5 walkin dead had great women writers even american horror had some good ones too. but is stupid cus we never hear of any

      • Melody Cooper

        My thoughts exactly.

    • zombie84_41

      Or here’s another idea STOP FUCKING MAKING THEM. There end of story. Nobody cares about the mummy, frankenstein, wolfman, inviisble man any more its all played out. The one movie they should of remaded from the start and they never did was Creature. But we got Del torros movie coming out and thats basically his own calling card to Creature.

      I want to see new hollywood monsters. Stuff of nightmares, make it R get a fantastic writers directors and make it happen honestly it’s not hard. They are just lazy and want money, money, money.

      • zonilo1 .

        I don’t think you know how Hollywood and any industry works, they’re only profiting off the IPs they own and they’re not going to accept new IPs because of “risks”.

        • zombie84_41

          I knew that. I just think its stupid, because they are losing money. Sometimes it paids to take risks. Sometimes it works out pretty good. if theh keep this up they wont have no more cash.

    • Elliott Trevino

      Agree with you and isn’t it ironic the best sci fi and horror are on TV TWD, Ghost Wars, ST Discovery and yet a multi million dollar budget can’t produce what a 1 hour show on a shoestring can

    • Jordann William Edwards

      Why not both? A female of colour. Duh.

      Does Ava DuVernay sound familiar?

  • Saturn

    Well, how about this : Brendan Fraser.

    Reboot the Mummy movies that he was in, but instead of yet more mummys, this time he comes up against werewolves, vampires, etc.

    • Johnny

      Hell no!!!! His Mummy films (and his “acting”) were PURILE TRASH.

      • Michael85

        They were fun you’re just a cunt.

        • Johnny

          What a model of maturity you are. Name calling because someone doesn’t agree with you? Grow up man.

          • Michael85

            Contract cancer you piece of shit.

          • Jordann William Edwards

            Yawn. You don’t fucking scare me.

          • DukeStKing

            Happens alot on here.

    • zombie84_41

      Fraser mummy the first 2 were solid. but everything after was a joke .The new one was such a wasted of time I swear it made me so pissed I wanted to bash in the directors head.

    • CelticBull

      “This isn’t as fun, as it used to be..” as Dracula rips someone’s head off in the background.

  • zombie84_41

    How about you give it up assholes. This is what the 4th or 5th time you tried and failed how many more times you want to fail. IDK maybe if you actually make damn good horror movies based on these characters instead of stupid washed out action movies that are more cliche than I can even think of then, maybe IDK maybe something good can come. Wolfman was cool being R but it wasn’t written well it was just meh. Maybe try making new characters for people to look up too instead of rehashed ones or expand on them something. I can think of insane amount of ideas. Maybe hollywood when they start to fuck up should call out to the fans because honestly thats who you making these films for people who grew up and love them and want to love them. So maybe the 20th time be a deal breaker. Guess we’ll see again.

  • guest

    awesome news!
    getting kurtzman and his final draft ’98 off this is a good start also.
    i wonder if the box office results from “IT” had anything to do with this change of direction.
    EXCELSIOR!!!

    • Elliott Trevino

      I’m sure the success of it is making many Reed it’s in upcoming releases and it’s very similar to Wonder Woman making WB hire Wed on to work on JLA

  • J Jett

    DRACULA UNTOLD was not horrid. your fucking lame, god awful BLAIR WITCH….now THAT is a horrid film (yet you praise that like you were paid to praise it……oh wait….).

    • ChowYunPhat

      Is Dracula Untold really the hill you want to die on?

  • Josh Evans

    Easy. Make a series of non-interdependant mid budget hard R horror films with end credits cameos from the other films but nothing that interrupts the narrative.
    Hire directors known for their wild vision and LET THEM DO THEIR THING.
    Only exhert studio mandated influence over the end credits crossover scenes.
    Some will hit, some will miss, but at the end of the day you won’t care because they’re mid budget films and the hits will cover the costs of the misses. The movies will stand the test of time because they aren’t one big story but individual ones with fun connected easter eggs for diehard fans.
    This isn’t rocket science.
    Make monster movies Universal.
    You really should have this down by now.

  • Michael Peterson

    just thinking…that a sexy woman mummy wasn’t all that frightening…just a thought. Could it be that these horror icons aren’t really superhero icons and there is a difference? Could it be that trying to fit horror into an action movie doesn’t work all that well? IDK. I mean for God’s sake, they are trying to take the horror out of horror and make it action packed and they don’t see why that failed? Dracula Untold was awful. They removed the horror from one of the original horror stories and it fell flat on its face.

  • Geno1987

    They screwed up when they decided not to make it a Brenden Fraiser Mummy. Should have gotten him and Arnold Vosloo back in the saddle, maybe even get Rock in to be Scorpion King and have the three as a fighting trio.

    • Kyle Schlichter

      Their fatal mistake with franchising was making Scorpion King and Dragon Emperor instead of like, Rick O’Connell vs Dracula. They missed the boat on franchising.

      • JD

        I would have loved for that to have happened. I was a young kid, I think I was 9, when the first Fraser mummy movie came out and it blew me away. they could have made it into a Van Helsing series.

        • Kyle Schlichter

          See that is the demographic they really need to go for with their classic monsters. Fun, PG/PG13 monster action. Some scares, but mostly thrills, and also an actual color pallet. FUN is the operative word. I think we need fewer tortured protagonists and more swashbuckling to set itself apart from every other set of monster movies.

          Also, Bride of Frankenstein should probably be even more queer than it originally was.

          • JD

            Don’t get me wrong I would love to see a straight up hard R version of the Universal Monsters. I think The Wolfman was a decent movie but it’s like they couldn’t decide if it was a gothic horror or action movie. I also remember hearing there were lots of rewrites with the script.
            I also understand people being upset on why they are going the action route but in reality the studios don’t want it to be an R movie because you are cutting off a huge portion of the audience. They need teenagers in the seats to make money.
            People will say that It and deadpool were R rated and made lots of money. They did make tons of money but how many R rated movies make that much.
            I get everyone’s opinion on this including the studio. I suppose it’s one of those damned if you do and damned if don’t situations.
            The next step is just focus on making 1 good film with a good story. They are thinking too much about the cinematic universe when they need to focus on the individual movies. Either way I think the dark universe will be shelved for a while now.

          • Kyle Schlichter

            Ultra violent horror movies are a dime a dozen, though. At some point, you might as well just rewatch Faces of Death. I think what the property really needs are new, charismatic actors and fresh, strong aesthetic.

  • WhimPickens

    They’re trying to make monsters into heroes, diluting evil.

  • Elliott Trevino

    The Mummy wasn’t that bad what made it suck was the comedy bits that felt completely out of place especially if your calling it dark universe where’s the R rating. If you edit out the stupid haha bits that landed flat anyway you have a much better folm

    • Michael Peterson

      Yeah that sexy female mummy was terrifying.

    • ChowYunPhat

      I think there was more wrong than just the bad comedy bits, but the comedy undermined it more than anything else. I have no idea what sort of character they had in mind for Cruise to be, but it didn’t work. There was just too much flipping back in forth from him being a badass and being a bumbling, incompetent idiot. It wasn’t funny, it made for a weak hero and Cruise seemed uncomfortable in the role.

  • Biscoito18

    What a mess!! Funny that they didn’t want “Dracula Untold” to be part of this Dark Universe, and then The Mummy turned out to be even worse.

  • Biscoito18

    I hope they cancel this silly idea of ​​Dark Universe, but I confess that I really want a remake of “Bride of Frankenstein”. But nothing like this disaster with Tom Cruise.

  • Big Boss Rogers

    Universal has nothin but of old heads stuck in the 60’s and 50’s tryin to compete with Marvel and DC! They need too stay in their lane of horror and screw a dark universe! I don’t care or wanna see Frankenstein vs wolfman! Stick to the original script of what you all do best and make sequels for the characters!

  • CelticBull

    Has there been a rumor about James Wan, or did you just randomly throw in a name? Hard to imagine, as he already has his horror cu over at Warner…

  • American Atheist

    I liked the Wolfman (2010). The scenery and cinematography are superb. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is phenomenal. Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire is one of my favorite movies (also rated R).

    Classic horror icons can be done properly if Universal/movie studios would grow a pair and do rated R horror movies not the PG-13 action/comedy/horror bullshit they just released with Tom Cruise.

    • BIG BEAR

      Totally agree, these iconic monsters are not supposed to be funny they are supposed to be scary.

  • pickin_grinnin

    They need to go in a completely different direction with the movies. Do a Guillermo del Toro thing, go with a very dark hard R, go back to the original legends (werewolves as people who turn into wolves, something more true to the original monster in the Frankenstein book), etc. No action movies, no comedy, etc.

  • Graham

    I like the idea of one-offs better than creating a shared universe. I hope that’s the direction they end up going. In any case, as a fan of the original Universal monster films, I’m kind of glad that they are re-evaluating the new series. I didn’t hate The Mummy, but everything about the upcoming Dark Universe just seemed stale and desperate.

  • PenelopeFlynn

    It is amazing to me that Universal blames the brilliant concept instead of their faulty execution. The hokey casting of Hollywood insiders is the linchpin of their failure. The products, Universal’s old world monster pictures sell themselves. The focus should have been on script and developing new talent not trying to ride on the name of A-list actors. I would reboot/relaunch with a wildly diverse and largely unknown cast retelling all the old Universal monster pictures bringing in legends from all over the world to add a different twist; re-labeling it “Universal’s Darker Universe.” The concept still has potential if done differently.

  • Dennis Chenier

    I actually liked The Mummy. For me the only major problem I had was the Tom Cruise miscasting.

  • Nicolas Caiveau

    This “dark universe” already exists. There’s the Universal Monsters saga and then the Hammer’s versions. And also a dazillion other adaptations of those stories outside of these shared universes.

    Now give me the Slasher Universe !

  • Too bad. I was hoping for this.

  • gabriel

    The hunchback of Notre Dame and the Elephant Man would be awesome too.

  • Halloween_Vic

    WELL I mean the new Mummy movie sucked and if that’s what they consider dark? Then yea they need to go back to the drawing board.

  • Matthew Yturralde

    I would love to see Robert Eggers (The VVitch) directing Bride of Frankenstein. He’s working on Nosferatu.

  • WhimPickens

    Wolfman was so close but was really lifeless. Tension and suspense in the lecture theater was about all.

    Dracula superhero had good ideas but wasn’t scary.

    TOM CRUSE, no longer content as the best fighter pilot, billiards player / gambler, race car driver, lawyer, military lawyer, spy, sports agent, samurai, “good” Nazi…has now conquered death and is able to control or possess a god / demon. Liked Sofia Boutella though. Too bad they let the horror and terror get swallowed by the action…some of that might have been scary if they slowed it down and weren’t so desperate to get Tom back on screen.

  • Charles Cumella

    I just think these projects have so much potential but Universal doesn’t know what to do with them… This Marvel Cinematic Universe thing has gotten tiresome, it took Marvel a decade to get things where they are now, and now everybody’s jumping on the bandwagon and doing it too quickly; and it’s not working. Universal can start like Marvel did, putting an after-credit scene in a movie insinuating that all of these monsters are in the same universe, but not ramming it down our throats and expecting us to take an obviously rushed and over-produced piece of crap seriously. Yes, make one-off movies and spend some time on the details and make me care about the people that are on the screen, don’t make me root for the guy hunting the monsters, make me support the monsters as misunderstood creatures with a real purpose, not just: “I’m evil” (pouty face). Just take your time and write something worthwhile, I’ll wait to see a fantastic Dracula or Frankenstein movie, but make me wanna see it. I don’t see the R-rating being a problem either, if it’s good everyone will watch it without a second thought, just like “It”, “Deadpool” or “Logan”… It’s not like they’re dealing with unknown properties, they’re dealing with “Universal”ly known monsters that obviously have a huge fanbase, new and old, just make them excited to see them. Speaking as a fan myself, I hope they do these movies right and can show all of these nightmarish characters to a whole new generation.

  • BreeBennett

    Warner is making a horror universe, why can’t Universal do the same?

  • Hank_Scorpio

    Well, when you turn The Mummy into a Mission Impossible movie with ridiculous CGI, you get crap. They need to return to Universal’s monster roots. Practical effects and a decent script. Also, hiring big name a-holes only works when the script/story are good.

    This author bangs on The Wolfman, but it’s actually better than people give it credit for. The practical effects were outstanding and Benicio did a great job.

    That’s what Universal needs to do to do justice to remaking their monsters. No more Tom Cruise action movies loaded with stupid CGI.

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