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Dracula, Phantom and Hunchback Reboots Planned for “Dark Universe”

Kicking off with this weekend’s The Mummy, Universal’s Dark Universe is soon expanding to include confirmed follow-up films Frankenstein, The Invisible ManCreature from the Black LagoonBride of Frankenstein, and The Wolfman. But what other classic monster movies does Universal plan on giving the modern day treatment to?

During a chat with Fandom, Dark Universe creative force Alex Kurtzman (The Mummy) just revealed that new takes on Dracula, The Phantom of the Opera and The Hunchback of Notre Dame are also being planned!

Kurtzman also teased spin-offs and Dark Universe side stories that could bring non-Universal monsters into the Universal Monsters fold.

There are characters within those films that can grow and expand and maybe even spin off,” he told the site. “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.”

He added, “I’d love to bring Michael Fassbender in, I’d love to bring Jennifer Lawrence in, I’d love to see Charlize Theron in there, Angelina Jolie…”

At its organizing principle, Dark Universe films are connected by a mysterious multi-national organization known as Prodigium. Led by the enigmatic and brilliant Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe), Prodigium’s mission is to track, study and—when necessary—destroy evil embodied in the form of monsters in our world.



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COMMENTS

37 Comments
  • Mr. Dry

    Can someone call Bill Paxton to stop this tornado of shit already?!

    • Werewolf

      Got a Ouija board? I’m game if you are 😀

      • Mr. Dry

        Oh boy… I’d forgotten it. He should comeback to stop this shitornado and stay to do some movies, by the way.

        • Werewolf

          Agreed!

  • Chance LeBoeuf

    If they’re gonna do another Dracula, Mads Mikkelsen should play him. Think that would be awesome.

    • Werewolf

      Excellent choice!

    • Necro

      That is an excellent actor there, I would love to see his take on ‘Dracula’.

    • RKSDooM

      Mads Mikkelsen should play everything, but, just once, I’d really like to see a version of Dracula that is like the book version – monstrous, not sexy. And without the romance angle that has been shoehorned into every adaptation.

  • Randy Moses

    I just have this bad feeling that they are going to blow this. I don’t want them to. I want them to surprise me and succeed! But I have a feeling that this “Prodigium” (couldn’t they come up with something that sounds better?) is going to be their version of SHIELD, and what we’ll get is the Universal Monsters changed into superheroes. BUT maybe I’m wrong! I hope so!!

  • Grimphantom

    Aren’t they too over their heads on this? How do they know the Mummy will be a success? Just because Tom Cruise is in it? First wait then try to reveal your plans on expanding your Dark Universe, it already happen with Ghostbusters and Amazing Spider-Man on planning a ton of sequels and spin offs until they canceled everything.

  • guest

    phantom of the opera set in modern day just doesnt get me amped at all.

  • pablitonizer

    Will they be expanding this universe till 2050?? If the mummy succeeds IF it succeeds then they should hurry up with releases…

    • Adaaification

      I think they planed up until 2030. 2 or 3 movies a year. Like Marvel does it.

      And Marvel has plans up to run their MCU until 2040. So, a little planing isnt that bad.

  • Vader the White

    Hunchback? Really? Guys, first of all, Quasimodo really isn’t a monster nor is Hunchback of Notre Dame a horror story. It just gets thrown in due to Lon Chaney and the fact it is a Universal film. Secondly, how the hell would he fit into this universe? I don’t think they know what they are doing with this. Why couldn’t this be a series of good, horror films with reasonable, modest budgets that we get every October. That would be more satisfying and honestly more likely to succeed.

    • Adaaification

      From what we saw so far this will be a more action like take on what we saw in the 1920s and 1930’s.

      Pure horror dosent works today anymore. Nobody fears Frankenstein or gets shocked by the unmasking of the Phantom. This times are over, what is a shame but this is for an other discussion.

      Universal has a plan, like Disney they have a division who is only there for continuity and clueing the thing together. The difference is Disney pumps millions in this division to keep a line and Universal set some hundert thousands bucks loose. Marvel made 20 billion dollars so far. Universal will try hard to get there.

      The Rock as Wulfman, Tom Cruise as Hellsing, i mean this could be trash action with some horror on a high budget level. It spits on the legacy for sure, but it takes what is modern: No Soul, No Heart, just Action and Explosions. Will work.

      • Vader the White

        My point is that Quasimodo isn’t a Universal Monster. He’s only grouped with them because Lon Chaney. And I really don’t see how they could fit him into this franchise and make sense.

        • Adaaification

          I know what you mean. The Phantom also dosent belong there. But maybe Quasimodo will be the protector of the sinti and roma. But when they want to make it modern, the protector of refugees. Notre Dame could be a fortress. The enemy would be Nazi’s or the Police. But the problem stands, it dosent fits in at some point.

          • Vader the White

            The Phantom does belong amongst the Universal Monsters. He actually does monsterous things. It just depends on how the story is executed.

      • Matty Ice 2016

        The Rock …..Tom Cruise ….Angelina….Theron …..Crowe….Depp…….Yuck ….The casting of all these past their prime A listers is the only scary aspect of any of this upcoming mess……Hooray For Hollywood !!

      • Annie S.

        I bet you audiences would like to see a classic horror movie more than another copy and pasted big budget action flick.

    • ToryK

      “Why couldn’t this be a series of good, horror films with reasonable, modest budgets that we get every October.”

      Because that would make too much sense. Also, splosions. But good thinking. I’d much prefer your idea.

  • Judge Satchmo

    I can just hear the Count from Sesame Street counting all of Universals chickens before they hatch.

    • Matty Ice 2016

      LOL !!!

  • Matty Ice 2016

    Horror movies are no longer scary ….We have seen it all before …Over and over ..the same idea …There has been nothing new in the genre for at least thirty years ….This movie is going to tank …Leaving Kurtzman in a massive foot in mouth situation ….Hooray For Hollywood !!!

  • Matty Ice 2016

    They have already fouled ( cursed ) the nest ( franchise) By already assuming The Mummy is a hit ….The Universe Is Doomed From The Start ….Now that is scary !!

  • Darth_Siskel

    I’m skeptical.
    This new Mummy movie looks like a remake of X-Men Apocalypse.
    Complete with Ancient Egyptian standing in the middle of a city, arms outstretched, mass destruction all round & a proclamation to “destroy & remake” the world.
    If I had been in charge, I would started out small. And gotten the guys from Penny Dreadful to write it. Actually make a HORROR MOVIE.

    • MODOK

      They’re not going to be pure horror movies. It’s just not viable. It’s pretty rare for a big-budget horror movie to do well at the box office, and that’s because horror has a limited audience. Look back to this article, which discussed how modest even the highest-grossing opening weekends have been for horror movies:

      http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/3433331/prediction-it-highest-opening-weekend/

      It might make us happy to see the Universal monsters stay as pure horror, but Universal needs to break through to a mainstream audience if the Dark Universe is to continue on as planned. Thus, a movie like The Mummy can include some horror elements, but must also include adventure and big action set-pieces (not unlike the Brendan Fraser movies).

      Perhaps other Dark Universe movies won’t need that same combination and can lean more toward horror. After all, The Mummy is first and needs to make a big splash. But we should probably accept they will nearly all have a PG rating and enough action and thrills for kids and non-horror fans.

      • Vader the White

        That’s why you don’t have it be big budget. The most successful horror movies historically have been liw budget and these films should follow suit. And horror has enjoyed a good amount of mainstream success in recent years. Hell, genre films did better than their blockbuster competition this past summer.

        • MODOK

          All valid points. But it’s one thing for Blumhouse, A24 or Ghost House to make $40 million on a $10 million budget with no marketing. That model of solid but limited success is not really sustainable at Universal’s level, especially if these movies need to make enough to sustain an entire franchise.

          Universal clearly has greater things in mind. They’re going for spectacle–big movies, big stars, big effects, big action sequences, etc. And frankly, I kind of like it. The Universal monsters deserve movies on a scale befitting their legendary status.

          Plus, it could be that the Dark Universe succeeds only because of that scale. There have been umpteen Frankenstein, Dracula and Wolfman movies over the years. Would anyone truly be that excited for a new one if it’s a smaller $30 million production with lesser-name stars? Turning the Monsters into big-budget spectacles hopefully differentiates these movies and makes them into “events” audiences will be excited to see.

          I know it’s not what’s best for true horror fans, but it may be what’s best for our beloved Monsters. In any event, I at least applaud Universal for trying to revive the Monsters so wholeheartedly.

          • Vader the White

            1) Studios really NEED to do low/medium budget films. If they keep tying their money into big, tentpole films, they will go out of business. Diversify, damn it. Not every single movie needs to be a big spectacle.
            2) Make a good movie and promote it well. That’s what it would take to make a successful movie series out of the Universal Monsters. Also releasing them in October would help, especially since it feels like there are so few horror films released in the time frame where the general audience is more receptive to the genre.

          • Annie S.

            There have been big budget films for those characters and they have flopped. Movies like Underworld while cheesy and not for everyone have done better and maintained lasting franchises because they have realistic smaller budgets.

          • MODOK

            I’m not saying big-budget is the answer or that a smaller production definitely would’ve failed. Who knows, Universal may someday regret trying to go big with these. All I’m saying is that I can understand–and appreciate–why they wouldn’t opt for pure horror, but would instead try for an epic scale that includes more action, adventure and bigger stars to attract a wider audience.

            Anyway, I doubt all the movies will be just like The Mummy. Not every Monster lends itself to that kind of sweeping Indiana Jones-style adventure. Kurtzman seems to realize that, which is further evidenced by his comment that Blumhouse might even produce some of them.

      • Darth_Siskel

        That’s why I said…
        “If I had been in charge, I would’ve started off small…”
        Doesn’t mean you can’t build to something bigger & more epic. But this?
        Boom! Straight out the gate. Apocalyptic monster.

  • DarkBree

    They are really confident in this.

  • Graham

    Those casting ideas are brutal.

  • Necro

    Nope! I’m done with anything in the future relating to this shit! The articles, trailers, and of course the movies themselves. This whole thing is a fucking joke and all the movies are gonna suck shit.

  • midnitedip

    i wish they would leave the creature alone im sure they will destroy it.

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