Two Universal Horror Originals Have Been Added To Dark Universe

Universal ain't half-steppin' with their Dark Universe franchise, already snagging Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe for The Mummy, Johnny Depp for The Invisible Man, and Javier Bardem for Frankenstein. Plus there are movies based on Bride of Frankenstein and the Wolfman with Angelina Jolie and Dwayne Johnson considered for those. Along with reboots of Van Helsing and The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Universal's ambitious plans apparently go even further according to The Mummy director, Alex Kurtzman.

Speaking with Fandom, Kurtzman says Dark Universe will also include new versions of Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, along with another attempt at Dracula. You'll recall the shared universe was supposed to have launched with Luke Evans' Dracula Untold, which didn't do much at the box office. Kurtzman also said he'd like to bring Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlize Theron, and the aforementioned Jolie in for some of these roles.

While it may be the first we're hearing of 'Hunchback' and 'Phantom' as part of this new line of reboots, perhaps they shouldn't be. 1923's silent films The Hunchback of Notre Dame and 1925's The Phantom of the Opera, both starring the great Lon Chaney, were Universal's first cracks at the monster genre, setting the landscape for everything that came after.

Kurtzman is keeping a wide perspective when thinking about the growth of Dark Universe, saying that these movies could eventually lead to spinoffs featuring some of the supporting characters...

“There are characters within those films that can grow and expand and maybe even spin off. I think that digging into deep mythologies about monsters around the world is fair game for us, as well and connecting the monsters that we know to some surprising monsters could also be really interesting.”

Let's hope Kurtzman and Universal aren't putting the cart before the horse. None of this is likely to happen if The Mummy is a dud when it opens this weekend.