Universal Launches Dark Universe Monster Franchise, Confirms Johnny Depp & Javier Bardem

Universal has made no secret of a desire to launch a shared universe to call their own. It wouldn't be centered on some superhero team or anything like that, but on their library of classic movie monsters, properties which stretch back decades and are some of the most iconic in film history. Makes sense. It was supposed to begin a couple of years ago with Dracula Untold, but the disappointing results drove a stake through it pretty quick. So now it's starting anew with Tom Cruise's The Mummy, and this time Universal isn't holding back.

Universal has officially launched the Dark Universe franchise, with The Mummy director Alex Kurtzman, screenwriter Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious franchise writer), Cruise's pal and Mission: Impossible director Christopher McQuarrie, and David Koepp (War of the Worlds) overseeing the whole thing. The whole thing begins with The Mummy, which has  Kurtzman directing and stars Cruise, Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll, and Sofia Boutella as the title creature. That film opens next month, and will be followed by Bill Condon's The Bride of Frankenstein on Valentine's Day 2019. More freakish romance on that date from the studio that brought you Fifty Shades of Grey.  Javier Bardem has been set to play Frankenstein Monster, with Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man. There's also a Creature from the Black Lagoon movie in the works with Will Beal (Gangster Squad) writing the script.

So how long until we get a Monster Squad-type teamup movie?  In my mind, I see Luke Evans' Dracula re-emerging years later as the villain all of these monster must join forces to defeat. Don't rule that out from happening.