When Universal’s attempts to re-launch their monster movie franchise unravelled with serious Mummy issues this summer, grossing just $409 million off a $125 million budget, that wonderfully staged photograph of Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, Johnny Depp, and Sofia Boutella appeared to be a serious case of running before you could even shuffle. Now it seems that all of Dr. Jekyll’s movie-stalling, world building exposition was for nothing, and The Dark Universe is set to collapse again.
The Hollywood Reporter have revealed that the producers drafted in to plant the creative seeds that would find Johnny Depp headlining The Invisible Man, Javier Bardem bringing Frankenstein’s monster to life, and Bill Condon directing Angelina Jolie as the Bride of Frankenstein, have departed The Dark Universe for good.
Alex Kurtzman, who directed the much maligned summer turkey, has left to concentrate on his TV projects, most notably Star Trek: Discovery, while his fellow Dark Universe writer-producer Chris Morgan, has fled to the comfort zone of the Fast and Furious franchise, writing the Jason Statham/Rock spin-off movie.
After Dracula Untold was given a critical and commercial stake through the heart in 2014, this is the second time that Universal’s classic beasties have failed to garner any kind of box-office traction, and coupled with the news that pre-production on Bride of Frankenstein‘s London shoot has been halted, presumably for good, there seems little chance that the studio would want to course-correct their plans again. Surely the brand is already too toxic?
What do you think? Are you an apologist for The Mummy, or would you be happy never knowing where Tom Cruise was riding off to at the end of that muddled movie?