Universal's "Dark Universe" is the name given to its upcoming series of remakes for the iconic monster movies the studio produced in the early to mid-1900s. The Mummy, which will be the first entry in the series, is coming out this Friday. Fandom reports that Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Phantom of the Opera, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Invisible Manare all coming in the future. Critics are worried the universe may fail, but new developments recently went some way in allaying that fear.
An example of one of those worried critics is Forbes film and pop culture writer Dani Di Placido, who is very concerned indeed, both because the trailer for The Mummy looks too grim and because he feels Universal's general concept for their Dark Universe is flawed.
First of all, Di Placido claims the trailer does not make the movie look fun in any way. It is the trailer for a gritty, serious action-adventure movie typical of Tom Cruise, who is the film's star. Which would be fine if the film were an original composition. The Universal Monsters are so genre-defining and are so cliche by this point, though, that the straight horror-adventure approach just won't work anymore.
"They've been distilled through various mediums of pop culture for decades, to the point where they've become so familiar it's impossible to take them too seriously. They're so old they've become archetypes and tropes. A shared universe featuring all these characters should be about deconstructing the genre, not building a universe," Di Placido writes.
"'Frankenstein and Dracula meet The Wolfman' sounds like a great idea for a stoner sitcom, but an action movie? Ugh. Unless these characters are re-imagined practically beyond recognition, there's little incentive to pay the price for a cinema ticket."
Di Placido claimed the reboots of The Mummy by Brendan Fraser were enjoyable because their approach to the story was "light-hearted and child-friendly." The trailer makes it look like this year's iteration of The Mummy will not be, and that probably means the future films in Universal's Dark Universe will not be either.