Universal Pictures announced today that its series of films reviving the studio’s classic monster characters for a new generation will be known as “Dark Universe” which will relaunch Universal’s iconic characters into modern cinema with a superstar cast.
Dark Universe was begun by core creatives Alex Kurtzman, who also serves as director and producer of The Mummy, the inaugural film in the new classic monster series. Also joining the enterprise to inspire and entertain a new generation are Oscar winner Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible series, The Usual Suspects) and David Koepp (War of the Worlds, Jurassic Park).
“We take enormous pride in the creativity and passion that has inspired the re-imagining of Universal’s iconic monsters and promise audiences we will expand this series strategically,” said Donna Langley, Chairman, Universal Pictures. “The enterprise masterfully developed by Chris and Alex will allow each subsequent chapter the right time to find the perfect cast, filmmakers and vision to fulfill it. As we launch Dark Universe with Danny’s provocative theme before The Mummy and collaborate with a brilliant filmmaker like Bill to weave the story of a very modern woman in a very classic tale, we feel confident we’re off to a tremendous start.”
“When Universal approached us with the idea of re-imagining these classic characters, we recognized the responsibility of respecting their legacy while bringing them into new and modern adventures,” said Kurtzman and Morgan. “The studio and our fellow creative collaborators have championed and challenged us as we’ve begun to spin the web of Dark Universe. It’s our hope these movies will engross longtime fans and spark the imaginations of brand-new ones.”
Universal announced that it will not release a Dark Universe film as previously planned for April 13, 2018, and that Bride will instead be the next chapter in the unspooling series of movies following this year’s The Mummy. The actress chosen to play the lead role in Condon’s version of this timeless story will be announced soon.
“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.”
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.
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. They join Tom Cruise as soldier of fortune Nick Morton and 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.
The journey into Dark Universe has begun and it seems that Universal is sparing no expense and ready to showcase its superstars and their respective movies with great aplomb. Saturday, May 20th was dubbed ‘The Mummy Day’ in Los Angeles and marked by unveiling an enormous sarcophagus, inspired by the upcoming action-adventure film, The Mummy. Tom Cruise was joined on stage by his fellow co-stars, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Annabelle Wallis and director Alex Kurtzman at the Hollywood & Highland gateway in Los Angeles.
“As a kid I remembered I used to look at Hollywood Boulevard and they had these big events on Hollywood celebrating movies and I appreciate what Universal is doing and just know that this is a big entertaining movie for you and we are sure you will enjoy it,” said Tom Cruise.
The largest single vertical structure ever assembled at the gateway, The Mummy sarcophagus measures 75 feet in height, 28 feet in width and weighs an astonishing 15,000 pounds. The extraordinary feat of engineering took two firms a total of eight weeks to construct, and scores of workers more than 160 hours to install. To prepare Princess Ahmanet’s sarcophagus for its revealing on The Mummy Day, the tomb required 18 wide-load tractor trailers to move all of the elements into place.
“The Mummy is cinematically spectacular with extraordinary action and visuals that are even more stunning and memorable in 3D,” said Travis Reid, President of Worldwide Cinema and Chief Operating Officer of RealD. “Erecting a 75-foot tall, 7-ton sarcophagus at one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations is the perfect way to launch this epic event.”
The journey to a new world of gods and monsters begins with The Mummy which arrives in theatres, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D on June 9.