Dark Universe May Collapse as Producers Exit Franchise
Posted 2017/11/09 0 0
Universal's classic monsters cinematic universe may have been dealt a fatal blow by The Mummy.
According to a report from THR, producers and DU architects Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan (who directed and wrote The Mummy, respectively) have left the project in favor of other endeavors elsewhere. This follows the disastrous debut of The Mummy, which put the future of the franchise in doubt when it opened to an abysmal $32.2 million back in June. The film performed much better overseas, surpassing $400 million, but it still cost millions for production and marketing. This leaves Universal with no creative stewardship of the films, no films on the roster, and the question as to whether to pursue the Dark Universe project at all.
The Bride of Frankenstein was set to be the next Dark Universe movie under director and writer Bill Condon. Pre-production was underway, but Universal pulled the plug on that last month. At the time, executives claimed Condon's script wasn't ready. But there may have been something bigger at play. Angeline Jolie was wanted for the lead for a long time, but she is now definitely not attached. Condon is still on the project, but there is no set start date at this time, and the originally announced February 14, 2019 release date has been scrubbed from Universal's release schedule.
Universal Pictures claims it's not ready to give up the ghost just yet. And they are currently exploring their options. One plan that has been tossed around before is handing the franchise over to Blumhouse, who could produce a bunch of awesome monster movies on the cheap really fast. Or giving the reigns to another high profile producer. However it all plays out, the concept needs a major overhaul to move forward. Universal president of production Peter Cramer had this to say to The Hollywood Reporter.
"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. 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."