DARK UNIVERSE Dead?
There was this scene from SEINFELD I remember. Kramer had created his own company, consisting of him and one flunky. He had an idea to create a giant rubber bladder to put inside oil tankers to prevent oil spills should the ships ever run aground. To test his new invention, he and his flunky filled a big rubber bag with liquid (I don’t remember if it was oil) and tossed it out a high-rise window–with predictable results. Kramer, looking down at the mess below, simply commented, “Well, that didn’t work.”
Maybe Universal should look at its plans for a relaunched shared universe of its classic Monsters and make the same announcement. “Well, that didn’t work.” Most fans didn’t really expect it to. Before they even started filming any movies, they announced that they were going to focus more on Action-Adventure than Horror. A deafening collective groan arose from Horror fandom. Still, I was determined to give this new plan, the DARK UNIVERSE, the benefit of the doubt. I expect most fans were. Then came the first film in this new universe, THE MUMMY. And it bombed. Hard. Critics and fans alike hated it, and even those few fans who liked it–I admit I did–had to like it in spite of the things there were to hate. (*cough* Tom Cruise *cough*) We found ourselves lamenting the movie that COULD have been.
There were big plans. The next film in the docket was going to be BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. But Universal pulled it from the schedule last week. I expect that’s the end for the DARK UNIVERSE. Probably for the best. Maybe we’ll end up getting, eventually, a new series of Universal Monsters films actually worthy of the name. And maybe we’ll be able to AVOID seeing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson play the Wolfman. Let us hope so.