Universal giveth, Universal taketh away, and Universal giveth again, but with a different name and a different creative direction. Per Variety, the studio is once again planning a reboot of its catalogue of monster properties: Leigh Whannell will direct an Invisible Man movie, to be produced by Jason Blum and Blumhouse.
In 2017, Tom Cruise’s Mummy was supposed to launch the “Dark Universe,” an interconnected series of movies starring Universal’s stable of monsters: The Invisible Man with Johnny Depp, Dr. Jekyll with Russell Crowe, Frankenstein’s Monster with Javier Bardem, and Bride of Frankenstein, to be directed by Bill Condon. By November 2017, Bride of Frankenstein was dropped, and the Dark Universe writer-producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan had jumped ship. Now, according to Variety, Universal is no longer pursuing a monster cinematic universe, and is instead pursuing “a number of prominent directors for various properties.”
One blessing: The original Dark Universe cast, which gathered in a Sears Portrait Studio for one truly incredible (and incredibly baffling) cast photo, still has dibs on future monster movies. “The talent previously attached to various monster roles like Depp, Javier Bardem, Tom Cruise, and Russell Crowe still have the option to appear in the movies after a filmmaker with a new vision is brought on,” Variety reports. God doesn’t close a Dark Universe door without opening a Dark Universe window!