Universal Pictures Announces the Dark Universe and Lays Out Future Plans

We all know that Universal is getting into the cinematic universe game alongside Marvel and DC by creating an action/adventure horror series built around the studio’s classic Monsters. Now it seems like they’re ready to go full force into this new chapter by releasing a teaser for what they’re calling their “Dark Universe.”

The below trailer takes footage from the classic monster titles that were, in many ways, the foundations for the horror world we have today. You’ll see scenes from Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, and more.

Additionally, a new photo was released of Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Sofia Boutella, Johnny Depp, and Javier Bardem, the first three of whom are in the upcoming The Mummy while Depp will be starring in The Invisible Man and Bardem as Frankenstein’s Monster.

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The announcement also reveals that the motion logo for this venture will be composed by Danny Elfman. We’ll be seeing it first prior to The Mummy, which opens on June 9th.

Elfman explains: “I grew up on monsters. Monsters were my life, and these iconic Universal Monsters were almost like my family. I simply wouldn’t be the same without them. When I got the opportunity to compose a theme for the Dark Universe logo, of course I jumped at it. What could be more fun than connecting to this world that has always been so deeply imbedded in my psyche? I tried to find something that was new but still had some connections with the past—the origins—at least in a subtle way. Something that was looking forward to a creative, fertile, imaginative future that Dark Universe will enter, and at the same time saluting the heritage of the tragic heroes (or anti-heroes) of my childhood. To the Monsters!!!!

It is also confirmed that Bill Condon will be directing Bride of Frankenstein, which will be the next title in the Dark Universe franchise. While we were supposed to get another entry on April 13, 2018, that has been cancelled for Condon’s entry, which will bow on February 14, 2019.

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,” stated Condon. “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.”

The most important piece of information that came with this reveal is that the thread that connects each of the films has been laid out: At its organizing principle, Dark Universe films are connected by a mysterious multi-national organization known as Prodigium. Led by the enigmatic and brilliant Dr. Henry Jekyll (Crowe), Prodigium’s mission is to track, study, and—when necessary—destroy evil embodied in the form of monsters in our world. Working outside the aegis of any government, and with practices concealed by millennia of secrecy, Prodigium protects the public from knowledge of the evil that exists just beyond the thin membrane of civilized society… and will go to any length to contain it.

This sounds wildly ambitious, and to be honest, I’m 100% into it! Give me this universe and everything that it has to offer!

Written by Jonathan Barkan

Lifelong horror fan with a love of music on the side.

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