Zack Snyder's Man of Steel got DC's Shared Cinematic Universe up and running, but it's the director's upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice that will get the DCU off the ground and flying. Similarly, although this year's Dracula Untold is part of Universal's relaunch of its Monster Movie Shared Universe, it's The Mummy in 2016 that should get the rebooted Monsters Universe moving ahead at full speed.
Universal has now set a release date for an untitled Monster Franchise Film that will open in theaters the year after the Mummy property revival. Van Helsing is a strong possibility for the 2017 date, seeing as it's been in development for a few years now; of course, the mystery Monster film could also be for another supernatural horror property altogether. It likewise may (or may not) be the movie that Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley is reported to be scripting.
The Untitled Universal Monster Franchise Film (as it's currently known) is scheduled to begin its theatrical release on April 21st, 2017. The Mummy is being directed by Alex Kurtzman - one of the rebooted Universal Monster Universe's architects - and is based on a script by Jon Spaihts, who also co-wrote Marvel Studios' upcoming Doctor Strange. Kurtzman's film will arrive in June 2016, but it was originally scheduled for late April that same year (similar to the 2017 Monster Movie).
2017 isn't so packed as 2016 just yet, which might explain why Universal is planting its flag down for a spring Monster Movie release right now. The mystery Universal Monster Movie has its April date to itself for the time being (that'll change eventually, of course), with Pacific Rim 2 opening two weeks earlier and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 starting off the 2017 Summer Movie Season two weeks later.
Shared cinematic universes are, as most reading this will be well-aware, all the rage in Hollywood these days. Marvel Studios has enjoyed immense success (not to mention $ucce$$) by connecting together its various TV shows and films, while the budding DC Movie Universe and the Disney/Lucasfilm Star Wars multi-platform universe should, likewise, prove to be quite profitable for their respective studio backers.
Will Universal's rebooted Monster Movie Universe keep that trend alive? Dracula Untold has thus far grossed $189 million worldwide (on a $70 million budget), but it wasn't promoted as being an "event" (read: connected to future Monster Movies) until right before it hit theaters; Kurtzman's Mummy will have a couple years of build-up, by comparison, which will help it make a bigger splash at the box office. The same goes for the 2017 Monster Film release.
If nothing else, we can all agree that a rebooted Universal Monster Movie Universe sounds better than Sony's idea for a Robin Hood Shared Universe, yes? Moving on...
Dracula Untold is now playing in theaters. The Mummy opens in theaters on June 24th, 2016, followed by the Untitled Universal Monster Franchise Film on April 21st, 2017.
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