Universal’s Dark Universe Might Still Have a Pulse
Remember that time when Universal was planning to launch an entire cinematic universe of monster movies? Remember how it was supposed to be fronted by a group of small-time actors by the names of Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, and Johnny Depp, and The Mummy reboot was set to kick it all off? Welp, that didn’t happen!
With the abysmal reviews of the Cruise-led Mummy, the so-called Dark Universe was dunzo as the studio’s future monster remakes all began to crumble to pieces. The writer-director team spearheading the mega-franchise left, and from there things fell a part for the Bride of Frankenstein and the Invisible Man reboots. But now it sounds like the monstrous cinematic universe-to-be hasn’t stopped kicking just yet, and it… it may be aliiiive!
Well, we don’t know for sure, but website Universal Monsters Universe (h/t Bloody Disgusting) stumbled upon an Instagram post from Los Angeles mural artist Robert Vargas who recently met with Universal. Vargas wrote in the caption that he’s “looking forward to contributing to the Universal Pictures legacy with my work,” which could mean anything, right? But he specifically wrote that he met with the “#DarkUniverse” team, teasing “monster things in the works.”
Great meeting this morning with the amazing #DarkUniverse team. Thank you #Universal Exec, Holly Goline and Crash for the hospitality. Looking forward to contributing to the Universal Pictures legacy with my work. Monster things in the works ;) Stay tuned! #Amazing people #RobertVargas #RobertVargasArt #CantStopWontStop #LA #Artist #LAmurals
Considering that Vargas is a mural artist, this could just be a partnership where he’s painting cool monsters across L.A. buildings to honor the studio’s old school monster movies. Maybe it’ll be timed to Halloween or maybe even a part of Universal Studios? But the fact that he met with the Dark Universe team suggests something regarding the supposedly dead franchise may be in the works. Also, peep the second photo in Vargas’ post; it’s a Dark Universe sign post. If the franchise was axed, why would the studio leave that thing up?
Last we heard, the Invisible Man remake, set to star Depp, had lost its writer, but shortly before that Bill Condon‘s Bride of Frankenstein, said to star Gal Gadot, had reportedly assembled a production team. So is Universal just taking a moment on their movies to quietly figure out next steps? Perhaps they’re hoping to ramp up hype with some new murals around town, but that’s hardly the resuscitation this corpse of a franchise needs.
Gallery – Sequels That Claimed To Be Final and Weren’t: