AceShowbiz - Last June's "The Mummy" starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella was made to mark the beginning of Universal's Dark Universe, a shared cinematic universe of monster movies. Previously, Universal announced their plans that involve Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem for their future franchise. However, the studio is now faced with a trouble that they should overcome, which is the departure of their producers.
Writer-producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, who were employed to be the pseudo-architects of the monster universe, have moved on to other projects, leaving the franchise without direction and purpose. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Kurtzman, who is an executive producer of "Star Trek: Discovery", wanted to focus on television while Morgan returned to writing his "Fast and Furious" franchise.
The producers' departure comes in the wake of the poor performance and reception of "The Mummy". With a budget over $125 million, the film's box office debut only made $32.2 million. The film grossed around $409 overseas. Critics also criticized the film as "the worst Tom Cruise movie ever" and more like "a feature-length trailer" instead of a full film.
Regardless, there is still hope for Dark Universe. Their films can be offered around to exciting filmmakers or producers such as Jason Blum ("Whiplash") and the filmmakers may opt to make one-off movies which are not connected to a larger universe. The studio can also find a new pseudo-architect who can build the classic, monster horror universe.
Moreover, a source at the studio confirmed that Universal was still committed to developing Dark Universe. The source also said that Bill Condon ("Beauty and the Beast (2017)") is still tapped to direct "Bride of Frankenstein", even though there is still no working schedule and its 2019 planned release is pushed.
"We've learned many lessons throughout the creative process on Dark Universe so far, and we are viewing these titles as filmmaker-driven vehicles, each with their own distinct vision," Universal's president of production Peter Cramer told The Hollywood Reporter. "We are not rushing to meet a release date and will move forward with these films when we feel they are the best versions of themselves," Cramer concluded.