You Know How People Say They Hate Saying I Told You So? We Don't - We Love It!!
The phrase “running before you can walk” once more comes to mind as Hollywood retreats from the notion of “everything’s a universe.” DC have already been back peddling desperately on their DC extended universe, slowing down production and claiming that their upcoming superhero movies will be more stand alone pics that a united whole. And now it looks like Universal have sounded the death knell for their own major Dark Universe (they had a logo and everything!) after a total of er, one movie. Yes, the box office failure of Tom Cruise’s The Mummy initially put Bill Condon’s follow-up The Bride of Frankenstein on hold. And now comes word that Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, the writer-producers tasked with supervising this monsterverse have packed their bags and left Universal. The Dark Universe offices on the Universal lot, recently refurbed with a plethora of images and décor reflecting the classic 1930s monster movies they sought to exploit, are notably empty and piling up with dust. All of which makes that cast photo the studio released – of Cruise alongside Russell Crowe (Jekyll and Hyde), Johnny Depp (The Invisible Man) and Javier Bardem (Frankenstein) little more than a premature novelty item.
Kurtzman has gone back to work on his Star Trek Discovery, whilst Morgan has returned to the fast & Furious franchise that birthed him, to pen the Rock/Statham spin off. And there’s even talk of the studio selling off the IP rights to what was once considered the jewels in their crown.
There’s every chance that in a few months, some bright spark will come up with a way of reinventing this particular wheel, but for now the Dark Universe has gone dark, and Hollywood’s numerous attempts to replicate the notions that Marvel have managed to do so successfully – and naturally - have sputtered to an embarrassing halt all over town. And worst of all, we’ll likely never get to hear Russell Crowe’s Dr Jekyll English accent ever again. Cinema has been robbed.
Now we don’t want to say we told you so. But…
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