Dark Universe: Monsters Unleashed

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Universal Pictures announced that its series of films reviving the studio’s classic monster characters for a new generation will be known as “Dark Universe.”  The motion logo for the new initiative features a musical theme composed by Danny Elfman and will debut in theaters preceding The Mummy, which will be released on June 9.  The announcement includes details of the enterprise relaunching Universal’s iconic characters into modern cinema, as well as confirmations of superstar cast and that Academy Award® winner Bill Condon will direct Bride of Frankenstein.

Dark Universe was started by core creatives: Alex Kurtzman who also serves as director and producer of The Mummy, the inaugural film in the new classic monster series. The Mummy producer Chris Morgan who recently saw The Fate of the Furious for the Fast & Furious franchise claim the biggest opening in history at the global box office when it opened on April 14.  Also joining the enterprise to inspire and entertain a new generation are such visionary talents as Oscar winner® Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible series, The Usual Suspects) and David Koepp (War of the Worlds, Jurassic Park).  

“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.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.” -Kurtzman and Morgan

Oscar® winner Bill Condon, director of the worldwide smash Beauty and the Beast which crossed $1 billion at the global box office, will be directing Bride of Frankenstein, from a screenplay by Koepp.  The next film from Dark Universe, Bride of Frankenstein will be released on Thursday, February 14, 2019. Bride will also 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. 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.” -Bill Condon

Originally Dracula Untold was supposed to be the kick-off movie for the Universal Monsters Universe. It was hyped up as much, but the reviews and box office sales did not help make the case for the studio to have any faith in it. Whether the original actor, Luke Evans, will reprise the role of Dracula still remains to be seen. In an interview at the red carpet screening of the trailer for The Mummy, Kurtzman confirmed that Dracula Untold doesn’t have anything to do with his monsters

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. 

“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.  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.” -Donna Langley, Chairman, Universal Pictures.

While previously announced, the stars of both imminent and future Dark Universe projects are gathered for the first time in the photo below: The Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s Monster will be played by 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.  Those actors join superstar Tom Cruise as soldier of fortune Nick Morton and Oscar® winner 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. Danny Elfman has been tapped to compose the score that will be the Dark Universe. 

From left to right: Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, & Sofia Boutella

Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters. Welcome to the Dark Universe!

To learn more about Dark Universe and Prodigium, visit www.DarkUniverse.com and www.WelcometoProdigium.com.

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