Universal Pictures announced its new series of films based on the studio’s classic monster characters will be known as “Dark Universe.” The musical theme for the universe will be composed by Danny Elfman and debut in theaters preceding The Mummy, which reaches theaters on June 9.
Dark Universe was begun by core creatives Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, director and producer of The Mummy, respectively. Directors Christopher McQuarrie, Bill Condon and David Koepp will also be joining the universe.
“When Universal approached us with the idea of reimagining 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.”
“We take enormous pride in the creativity and passion that has inspired the reimagining of Universal’s iconic monsters and promise audiences we will expand this series strategically,” said Donna Langley, Universal Pictures Chairman. “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.”
Composer Danny Elfman said, “I grew up on monsters. Monsters were my life, and these iconic Universal monsters were almost like my family. I simply wouldn’t be the same without them. When I got the opportunity to compose a theme for the Dark Universe logo, of course I jumped at it. What could be more fun than connecting to this world that has always been so deeply imbedded in my psyche? I tried to find something that was new but still had some connections with the past—the origins—at least in a subtle way. Something that was looking forward to a creative, fertile, imaginative future that Dark Universe will enter, and at the same time saluting the heritage of the tragic heroes (or anti-heroes) of my childhood. To the Monsters!!!!”
Universal announced that it will not release a Dark Universe film next year as previously planned for April 13, 2018. Instead Bride of Frankenstein will be released February 2019. Bill Condon is set to direct Bride of Frankenstein, from a screenplay by Koepp. The actress chosen to play the lead role will be announced soon. Bride of Frankenstein will be the next film from Dark Universe.
“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 compiled with well-known and up-and-coming actors and actresses. Some of those stars will be Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s Monster will be played by Javier Bardem, both appear together later this summer in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. They will be joining Tom Cruise as soldier of fortune Nick Morton and Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll, both starring in The Mummy, along with Sofia Boutella, playing the title role.
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 first film in the Dark Universe series, The Mummy, arises in theaters June 9, 2017!