The Universal Monsters are going to be part of a shared universe called Dark Universe. That alone would be newsworthy since the title is a cool spin on the Universal name and logo. But we also got a trailer (sort of) and a rundown of the upcoming projects. Give this a watch and then stick around to hear a whole lot more…

What’s In Store for the Dark Universe?

As a huge fan of the Universal Monsters (Son of Frankenstein for life!), this entire experiment seems a tad misguided. It’s going to be hard to smush these characters into typical action movies and then make people excited about them. However, they are definitely doing their best when it comes to recruiting talent. Check out this photo of the actors who will play all the monsters.

dark universe cast
From left: Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, Javier Bardem as Frankenstein's Monster, Tom Cruise as Nick Morton, Johnny Depp as the Invisible Man, and Sofia Boutella as The Mummy

We also got confirmation that Bride of Frankenstein will be the next film in the series after The Mummy. It’s set to release on February 14, 2019. The best news there: Bill Condon (Beauty and the Beast) is directing. Exactly how they will start with a sequel to Frankenstein instead of the first film is… interesting. Many fans consider the original Bride of Frankenstein to be even better than the original film, so maybe Universal is counting on that recognizable quality. Plus, they are the only ones who own the rights to the name Bride of Frankenstein while anyone else can just make a Frankenstein movie thanks to the book’s public domain status.

Exactly how will all of these films link up? The Mummy seems to position Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll as the Nick Fury of this universe. It will be interesting to see what time periods these all take place in, as well as how and why they will all come together. If it’s in some heroic fashion, I don’t feel that’s the best way to utilize the characters. These are horror figures and mostly villains, so turning a number of them into heroes would be a bit of a weird retelling.

If nothing else, I hope this gets people to rediscover the original Universal Monsters films. Most of them are great, and even the not-so-great ones are often fun and well-produced. Hopefully, these new pictures will capture some of the magic of those original films. If not, there is still a great library of movies to discover featuring the Universal Monsters.

We’ll get our first peek into this experiment when The Mummy hits theaters on June 9.

Drew Dietsch
Drew Dietsch has written for CHUD.com, the News-Press, WhatCulture, and releases a weekly film review podcast, The Drew Reviews Podcast. He'll yak your ear off about horror movies, Jaws, RoboCop, and/or Batman if you let him.