They’ve gone and given it a name, now. The planned “shared universe” of the Universal Monsters. They’re calling it “Dark Universe.” It’s simple. Catchy. I like it. Will it be dark ENOUGH, though? We’ll just have to wait and see. There is some room for hope. Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, who have been tapped to lay the foundation for Dark Universe with their soon-to-be-released THE MUMMY, said in a statement: “When Universal approached us with the idea of reimagining these classic characters, we recognized the responsibility of respecting their legacy while bringing them into new and modern adventures…It’s our hope these movies will engross longtime fans and spark the imaginations of brand-new ones.” Let’s hope they mean what they say.
The proof will be in the pudding. First, by how they manage the new Mummy movie. Then by how the remake of BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN turns out. The idea of Javier Bardem as the Monster certainly appeals to me. And they’ve got Bill Condon of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fame to direct it, which is promising, too. The real litmus test, though, will be in the casting of THE WOLFMAN. I keep hearing they want The Rock to play Larry Talbot. That would be a guaranteed failure, right there. Don’t do it, Universal!