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Blumhouse may enter the Dark Universe, Jolie and The Rock still rumored

05.31.2017by: Cody Hamman

The Mummy Alex Kurtzman Sofia Boutella Tom Cruise

I think I've made it pretty clear in the articles I've written about THE MUMMY that my hype levels for the upcoming film and for Universal's "Dark Universe" of monster movie reboots is through the roof. 2017 has been an awful year for me so far, and THE MUMMY is one of the movies I'm most looking forward to in hopes that it will provide some solid entertainment during this rough time. Still, I'm quite aware that others are more iffy on this whole prospect than I am, and that's clear from the fact that THE MUMMY has what is being called "so-so tracking". 

Directed by Alex Kurtzman from a screenplay by Jon Spaihts, THE MUMMY stars Sofia Boutella as the title character and has the following synopsis: 

Thought safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient queen whose destiny was unjustly taken from her, is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.

From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters.

Right now, tracking suggests that the movie, which had a budget of around $125 million, is heading toward a $40 million opening in the U.S. and will likely do most of its business abroad. It's expected to do well enough that the Dark Universe will continue expanding, and indeed the second film in the series - director Bill Condon's BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, which will star Javier Bardem as Frankenstein's Monster - is already scheduled for a February 14, 2019 release. It would just be better if audiences were to become more enthusiastic about this shared monster universe idea. And maybe there will be more enthusiasm after THE MUMMY is out in the world, and after, hopefully, more Dark Universe projects start moving forward.

It's no secret that the Dark Universe is Universal's attempt to get in on the sort of universe-building action Disney has going on with the Marvel films and Warner Bros. is getting off the ground with the DC films; much like Marvel has S.H.I.E.L.D., Dark Universe will also have an organization at its center that will help bring characters into contact with each other - the evil-hunting group called Prodigium, run by Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe). 

Universal is also aiming to bring in the sort of A-list talent that the superhero movies boast, casting Tom Cruise and Crowe in THE MUMMY, getting Bardem to play Frankenstein's Monster, signing Johnny Depp to be the Invisible Man. Bardem was rumored to be in the running for FRANKENSTEIN nearly a year before he was officially cast, and in their article on Dark Universe The Hollywood Reporter indicates that other A-listers who have been brought up for monster projects are still in the running for them, too. Apparently Universal is still hoping to cast Angelina Jolie as the titular BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, although the studio hasn't yet entered negotiations with the actress. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is still rumored to be a contender for THE WOLF MAN as well.

Something that could be helpful in getting the Dark Universe going is the fact that not all of the films in the series will necessarily be $100 million+ extravaganzas. There could be lower budgeted monster movies in the mix, and producer Jason Blum, known for his "low risk / high return" Blumhouse Productions horror films, is reportedly interested in working his low budget magic with some classic monsters.

We'll have to wait and see how things go for Dark Universe, what size of films it will end up consisting of and which stars may or may not be in them. For now, we definitely have THE MUMMY to look forward to. Its June 9th release is just over a week away, and I can't wait to go see it.

Extra Tidbit: What would you like to see from the Dark Universe?
Source: THR

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