In addition to the already announced films in Universal Pictures’ Dark Universe, the studio plans on tacking on at least two more reboots to the list. It’s no secret that shared universes are all the rage in Hollywood these days. Marvel Studios popularized the concept with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Warner Bros. has followed suit with the DC Extended Universe. Now, Paramount is gearing up to expand its Transformers franchise beginning with Transformers: The Last Knight later this month.
Universal is getting in on the action with its own shared universe based on iconic monsters from Hollywood’s golden age. The newly-formed Dark Universe begins with Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy this weekend and continues in two years with Bill Condon’s Bride of Frankenstein, starring Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s monster. Sometime after that, Johnny Depp will make his debut as the Invisible Man. Furthermore, the studio also has reboots planned for Van Helsing, The Wolf Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon — and that’s not all.
Kurtzman has been doing press for his upcoming film, and he recently unveiled plans to Fandom about expanding the Dark Universe with two more films: The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera.
“We know we’re going to do Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Phantom of the Opera, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Invisible Man.”
Unlike the rest of the movies in the Dark Universe, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera are two films that are uniquely special to Universal, for they were the first two “monster” movies the studio produced in the early ’20s, which starred legendary silent film actor Lon Chaney as both Quasimodo and the Phantom. At this time, there’s no telling who will play those characters, but people like Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlize Theron, and Angelina Jolie are on Kurtzman’s wishlist to star in the Dark Universe. They don’t have to play any of the main characters either. Kurtzman says they plan on diving deep into the mythology of these characters and movies, which could eventually lead to spinoff films.
“There are characters within those films that can grow and expand and maybe even spin off. I think that digging into deep mythologies about monsters around the world is fair game for us, as well and connecting the monsters that we know to some surprising monsters could also be really interesting.”
Aside from confirmation of more movies, what’s interesting about Kurtzman’s comments is that he names Dracula as one of the characters that will be rebooted within the Dark Universe. When the monster universe was first announced, it was reported that Gary Shore’s Dracula Untold, starring Luke Evans as the eponymous character, would be the first installment in the burgeoning shared universe. That ended up not being the case when Universal officially named The Mummy as the inaugural film. These new comments beg the question, has that all changed? Or will Universal reboot Dracula once again? We’ll just have to wait and see.