Boss of Universal studio admits the Depp and Cruise-fronted 'Dark Universe' plan failed

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp and Sofia Boutella as the 'Dark Universe' (Credit: Universal)

The boss the Universal studio has admitted that the plans for its rebooted monster movies – the so-called 'Dark Universe' – was a failure.

Featuring an A-list team, it planned to reboot some of the classic horror movies owned by the studio, from The Invisible Man to Frankenstein.

Read more: Bride of Frankenstein reboot rises again

But, it all went horribly wrong.

Despite Tom Cruise being the first out of the gate in 2017 with the new take on The Mummy, with Sofia Boutella as the ancient evil, the movie tanked.

Tom Cruise and Annabelle Wallis in The Mummy (Credit: Universal)

Despite making $410 million at the worldwide box office, it was estimated to have lost nearly $100 million after all its costs.

“We had an attempt at interlocking our monsters and it was a failed attempt,” Donna Langley, chairwoman of Universal Pictures admitted in a round table session with The Hollywood Reporter.

Plans for a Johnny Depp-led Invisible Man, a reboot of Frankenstein with Javier Bardem and Russell Crowe reprising his cameo as Dr. Jekyll from The Mummy in his own movie, were later shelved. And then binned entirely.

Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll in The Mummy (Credit: Universal)

“What we realized is that these characters are indelible for a reason, but there’s no urgency behind them and certainly the world was not asking for a shared universe of classic monsters,” Langley continued.

Read more: First look at disturbing new Invisible Man reboot

“But we have gone back and created an approach that’s filmmaker-first, any budget range.”

Recently, we heard that Dexter Fletcher has signed up to direct a movie about Dracula’s henchman, Renfield.

It's also given the Invisible Man concept to producer Jason Blum's Blumhouse studio, with Saw creator Leigh Whannell poised to release his modern take on the H.G. Wells story at the end of the month.

Starring Handmaid's Tale actress Elizabeth Moss, it finds a woman trapped in a controlling relationship who experiences a series of disturbing events following her boyfriend's apparent suicide.

Early reactions to the movie have been wildly positive.

While The Mummy's budget topped $200 million for production alone, Whannell's movie has cost $7 million.

It lands in the UK on 28 February.