Image copyright Universal Pictures 2017
We’ve tracked the progress and development of Universal Pictures’ Dark Universe franchise for almost a year – (seriously, it’s been almost 12 months of this nonsense).
However, this may be the final nail in the coffin for the shared cinematic universe, which is someone poignant as their first entry in the series was about an undead monster.
Following the – understatement incoming – underwhelming reception and response that The Mummy received earlier this year, writer/producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan have reportedly left the franchise, with Kurtzman focusing on TV, and Morgan returning to the Fast & Furious franchise.
Kurtzman, who is a co-creator and executive producer of Star Trek: Discovery, seemed to express his concerns with the franchise back in August when asked if he was still to be involved in the Dark Universe going forward.
This recent report from The Hollywood Reporter, mentions how not only have Kurtzman and Morgan left, but Universal has shelved Bride of Frankenstein‘s Valentine’s Day 2019 release date, as well as pulling the plug on production of the movie with no date set for when work will resume. The highly optimistic casting choice of having Angelina Jolie in the title role has, also, fell through.
The franchise was up the creek without a paddle, however now with all of the latest news that’s come out, everyone has already bailed overboard – women and writer/producers first!
The Mummy, which starred Tom Cruise in the lead, was intended to reboot the franchise for Universal and kick-start a shared universe which reimagined the studios’ monster movies from the 1930s and brought them all into the same cinematic universe a la Marvel Studios’ Avengers.
THR further reports that Universal is “exploring its options”, which, in this context, could range from finding a new architect to help revamp their Dark Universe concept, to approaching producers and directors with films that would, effectively, stand alone and not be connected to a larger universe.