Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, the creators spearheading Universal’s new DARK UNIVERSE franchise, have jumped ship. You can’t blame them. Anybody at this point can see that it’s sinking. It’s almost underwater completely. Only a couple of the topmasts are still poking out of the water, and they’ll be gone soon. Universal screwed the pooch. Big time. They tried to foster on us an “action adventure”-themed shared universe, a Disney-esque Monster-verse, when what the fans wanted, what the fans have been waiting for, is a reverent, thoughtful, and artistic updating of the classic noir films of yesteryear that we loved so dearly. The Brendan Fraser MUMMY movies were a lot of fun, but you can’t hang an entire franchise on that formula. To make the Universal Monsters live again on the big screen, gravitas is required.
I do not mourn the failed DARK UNIVERSE. Rather, all Monsterkidz should celebrate it, as it provides fertile ground from which something new and far superior might grow. Rumors are that Universal might hand over the reins to someone like Jason Blum of Blumhouse, a guy with a proven Horror pedigree, and take a low-budget, atmospheric approach without big-name actors–In other words, give the fans what they wanted in the first place. What someone like Blum could do with the stalwarts like Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman is enough to make any true fan giddy. Fingers crossed.