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Universal announces plans for a classic monster revival with Dark Universe

05.22.2017

With the release of Alex Kurtzman's THE MUMMY starring Tom Cruise planned for a June 9, 2017 release, some fans of Universal's classic movie monsters (Dracula, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Phantom of the Opera, Creature for the Black Lagoon, The Wolfman) have been anxiously awaiting the details concerning the label's planned monster mash revival. 

Today, Universal pulled the curtain back on what they're calling "DARK UNIVERSE" - a series of films starring an ensemble cast of notable actors aimed at presenting the movie monsters of old to a new generation of horror-hungry moviegoers. 

Here are the details from the official press release:

Dark Universe films will be distinguished by performances from some of the most talented and popular global superstars stepping into iconic roles, as well as electric new talents whose careers are starting to break through.  While previously announced, the stars of both imminent and future Dark Universe projects are gathered for the first time in the attached photo: The Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s Monster will be played by, respectively, blockbuster icon Johnny Depp and Academy Award winner Javier Bardem, who appear together later this summer in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES. Those actors join superstar Tom Cruise as soldier of fortune Nick Morton and Oscar winner Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll, who lead the all-star cast of The Mummy, along with Sofia Boutella, the actress who embodies the title role in that film.

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, 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.

Also included in the press release was this kick ass Monsters Legacy mash-up trailer. Enjoy!

Wow! On top of all this good stuff, it's also been announced that Bill Condon will direct BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN as a part of the Dark Universe library of films. 

Personally, I'm finding this news to be rather exciting. Just this past Halloween, I sat down and made my way through several of Universal's classic movie monster films. While I'd found some of them to be questionable in their quality, there's no doubt in my mind that each character offers an entire world of new possibilities for today's talented crop of notable filmmakers. Here's hoping that THE MUMMY kicks things off to a great start for this bold re-imagining of so many iconic figures in horror history. 

The first film of the planned Dark Universe will be THE MUMMY starring Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Sofia BoutellaAnnabelle Wallis, Chasty Ballesteros and more! The film opens on June 9, 2017.

Who's your favorite Universal movie monster? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Extra Tidbit: I've always been a Wolfman fan, though I'm mostly curious as to how a film centering on The Invisible Man will come about.

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