Despite the grand plans to launch an extended movie universe based around Universal's classic monsters, it appears, like 'The Mummy', things have started to unravel.
'The Hollywood Reporter' claimed on Wednesday that the chief architects behind the 'Dark Universe' project seem to have abandoned their posts. Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, writers and producers behind Universal's 'The Mummy' reboot, have reportedly departed the franchise leaving the future of the films in question.
In the lead-up to 'The Mummy's release Universal had plotted out several follow-up films, weaving a tapestry of films all rooted in relaunching their iconic monsters like the Invisible Man, Wolf Man and Frankenstein's monster.
There were even casting announcements with Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem attached to join Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe -- who would be reprising their roles from 'The Mummy' -- as well as Angelina Jolie being heavily rumoured to star in Universal's next monster film, 'Bride of Frankenstein'. But all that seems to have hit a monster-sized snag.
'The Mummy' was a critical flop, the film failed to energise audiences and critics alike with even Tom Cruise's over-the-top energy was unsuccessful in reviving a script that was un-dead on arrival. Since the film's release early this year, pre-production on 'Bride of Frankenstein' has halted, with its February 2019 release date being shelved.
This is the second false start for Universal's monster mash, with the release of 'Dracula Untold' in 2014 originally marking the unofficial launch of a shared monster universe. The same story happened, when it failed to fire at the box office and critics staked the film in the heart Universal distanced themselves from the project, saying the plan was always to kick off the 'Dark Universe' with 'The Mummy'.
While the future of the 'Dark Universe' is up in the air, there's still hope Universal will be able to pull things together to execute their goal.