“Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters.”
Universal Pictures announced today the official name for their new shared cinematic universe of classic monster reboots, entitled, “Dark Universe.” The brand’s new logo, seen in announcement clip below, features an original theme from famed composer Danny Elfman (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands) and will make its theatrical debut with the first installment of the “Dark Universe”, The Mummy, set for release on June 9th.
The announcement itself celebrates the studio’s decorated history of creature features and seeks to recreate the same level of excitement for those films into the audiences of this new initiative.
2014’s Dracula Untold was originally set to be the universe’s jumping point, but do to that film’s luke warm reception, The Mummy will serve as the first chapter of the reworked canon.
The Mummy director/producer Alex Kurtzman and The Fast and the Furious producer Chris Morgan will serve as the core creative officers of the “Dark Universe”, along with a team of writers that include Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible franchise, The Usual Suspects) and David Koepp (Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, Jurassic Park).
Kurtzman and Morgan stated, “When Universal approached us with the idea of reimagining these classic characters, we recognized the responsibility of respecting their legacy while bringing them into new and modern adventures. The studio and our fellow creative collaborators have championed and challenged us as we’ve begun to spin the web of Dark Universe. It’s our hope these movies will engross longtime fans and spark the imaginations of brand-new ones.”
With the announcement, Universal has also confirmed that mega-hit Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon will revive Bride of Frankenstein as the follow-up to The Mummy, with a screenplay from Koepp and slated for release on Valentine’s Day, 2019.
Condon reacted, “I’m very excited to bring a new Bride of Frankenstein to life on screen, particularly since James Whale’s original creation is still so potent. The Bride of Frankenstein remains the most iconic female monster in film history, and that’s a testament to Whale’s masterpiece—which endures as one of the greatest movies ever made.”
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales stars Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem have also been announced to play The Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s monster, respectively, in future projects. They are joined by The Mummy stars Tom Cruise (Mission Impossible), Russell Crowe (Gladiator), Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service), as the first major players in the “Dark Universe”, seen together below.