Saturday, May 27, 2017

Dark Universe Timeline

The Dark Universe has been announced officially. It launches with The Mummy and will be followed by The Bride of Frankenstein in (2019) and The Invisible Man (2020).  Franchises are the in thing now,  especially in the wake of Marvel's insane success.  I love the casting that's signed on for the future Dark Universe releases, but I'm sad that there aren't any plans to include The Wolfman (2010) and Dracula Untold (2014). 

The Wolfman was amazing, and they clearly left it open with the detective infected at the end, so it would be easy enough to do a simple head nod with a news paper clipping from the movie showing the werewolf attack.  Dracula Untold was awesome as well, was also open ended, and losing Luke Evans as Dracula would be a total waste.

Neither movie faired well with critics, but I don't feel like they ever do. There weren't great advertising campaigns for them driving folks to the theaters. The vampire market was a little saturated when Dracula came out also, so I don't think the timing was right.  And let's be honest, no matter how any of the Dark Universe movies turn out, critics will be unduly harsh about them because they confuse being critical and critiquing movies.  You see that with Star Wars and DC movies for example. Critics hate them; fans love them. 

Additionally,  while Universal might believe they will make Marvel money, we're talking about monster movies. It's a niche audience compared to something accessible that children and adults can like.  And not just that.  Monster movies that aren't being released around Halloween when everyone is cranked up for scary flicks don't tend to do so well. 

This can really only mean that Universal is trying to portray them not just as horror movies, but as summer time action flicks (The Mummy) or Valentine's Day couple flicks (Bride of Frankenstein).  In doing so; while they will believe they are making them accessible, what will probably end up happening is they short-change the people who would've otherwise become their core audience.

That said, I'm still excited. I think the Dark Universe is doomed to a rough start, but as long as Universal sticks with it, I think it will pay off.  They just have to be willing to take some ridicule; maybe even absorb a stumble or two at the box office, but they will zone in on their demographic and get that cult following that takes years to build. If they stick to it.

For now, until contradicted by updated canon, I'm retconning The Wolfman and Dracula Untold into the Dark Universe because I think Universal is silly to set them aside.

The Wolfman  (2010)
Dracula Untold (2014)
The Mummy (2017)
Bride of Frankenstein (2019)
The Invisible Man (2020)