The director of The Mummy has stated that the first entry in the Dark Universe franchise was meant to be a Tom Cruise movie that felt "different and interesting". It wouldn't be stretching the truth to say that The Mummy has had a very negative reception from critics and poor reviews. It's disappointing for Universal, who anticipated that this would be the movie that all future Dark Universe movies would spring from.
The next entry is planned to be Bride of Frankenstein in February 2019, which is expected to be followed by The Invisible Man and many more besides. But despite the rough reception, the film is still on track to be Cruise's biggest opening ever, with an estimated $169 million at the global box office. Whether the critical feedback or final box office total will have an impact on the future of the shared-universe remains to be seen.
However, in an interview with Business Insider, Kurtzman has justified his motives making the monster movie. He was eager to make it both the first steps into the Dark Universe and a standalone story in itself. But he was also keen to make it a kind of anti-Cruise movie; a deconstruction of what you would normally expect from one of his films:
"We have over 30 years of knowing Tom Cruise is going to save the day, in order to make the movie unpredictable I loved the idea that suddenly his control over the situation would be taken away from him ... That got me excited, it felt like it served two purposes in that it honored a key Mummy power but it also made a Tom Cruise movie feel different and interesting."
It's not the first time that Kurtzman has felt the need to defend the film and franchise, especially in light of the first wave of the reviews. Some critics and fans have pointed out that juggling the "blockbuster" elements, along with the need to set up the Dark Universe and honor the past versions of this story is why it just doesn't work for many people. At the moment, it's not clear if the outstanding plot threads will be continued and whether Cruise might appear in the other shared universe films.
Kurtzman is also the producer on the other forthcoming films from the Dark Universe brand, and with Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man and Javier Bardem as Frankenstein, he is confident that the franchise will find a successful balance and fans will "get a familiar feel and tone from the movies". As the dust settles from the opening weekend of The Mummy it will be interesting to see what further plans are brewing for this new franchise.
Source: Business Insider
- The Mummy (2017) release date: Jun 09, 2017
- Bride of Frankenstein release date: Sep 20, 2018