As most likely figured by the box office numbers and poor critic reviews from this summer’s The Mummy, Universal’s monster centered Dark Universe endeavor is in a bit of trouble.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Writer-producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan who were the architects of the shared universe have both departed the franchise. Kurtzman had alluded to the fact that he was not sure if he had a future still with the universe back in August.
Both have turned their focus elsewhere as Kurtzman has many television shows he produces with CBS, including Star Trek: Discovery, while Morgan is back at work on Universal’s Fast and Furious franchise including work on the upcoming Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham spinoff.
Another indication that things were not progressing well for the universe is that back last month production that had just started on the next film Bride of Frankenstein was shut down and the film has been delayed for the time being. Reportedly the studio did not feel that writer-director Bill Condon’s script was not ready and there are reports they had sights on Angelina Jolie for the main role but she remains unattached to the film.
Before The Mummy arrived this summer Universal made a big debut of the Dark Universe name with a trailer for the shared universe and they announced a whole slew of films would be coming starring the likes of Johnny Depp, Russell Crowe and Javier Bardem and more. They even added remakes of films like Dracula, Phantom of the Opera and Creature of the Black Lagoon among others to the slate right before The Mummy opened.
According to the reports the studio is exploring options for what to do with the films and the work put in. Some of those options include bringing in high-profile filmmakers or producers such as Jason Blum or others with ideas for one-off films that are not a shared universe or even finding a new architect to take over and overhaul the current shared universe concept.
Since Marvel Studios hit it big with their shared universe, many studios have wanted to replicate the method but so far are not having the same levels of success.