In 2014, Universal Studios released Dracula Untold. It was supposed to be a radical new take on the character, combining the mythology created by Bram Stoker with the real history of Vlad Tepes III, Prince of Wallachia, the real-life inspiration for Dracula also called Vlad the Impaler. The film was supposed to be huge for Universal, a big, ambitious remake of one of their classic films, but it ended up making a less than impressive $200 million at the worldwide box office, barely breaking even once marketing and distribution were taken into account. Dracula Untold had one last chance at redemption, but now even that’s been taken away, it’s not a part of the planned Universal Monsters Shared Universe after all.
This has been a contentious point since Untold’s release a few years ago, and people in the know have gone back and forth as to whether or not the movie is part of the shared cinematic universe that Universal is developing for its monsters. Work on Alex Kurtzman‘s The Mummy was just getting underway back in 2013 when Untold was in production, and reshoots were undertaken to make it a backdoor into the Monsters U if the movie was a success. Since then, there’s been no clear answer, but Kurtzman revealed Sunday at a premiere event for the Mummy’s trailer just where Dracula Untold stands. Is it a part of the Monsters Universe, and can we expect Luke Evans to pop up as the Prince of Darkness in a future entry?
Kurtzman then went into more detail about what it is people are expecting from a shared cinematic universe. How do you do it right? How do you balance telling a good standalone story while laying the ground work for a multi-film universe?
“I believe strongly that the only way you can build a universe is not to start by trying to build a universe. If you want to get there, the only way you’re going to get there is if the audience allows you to get there. Meaning, you have to do great individual films first. The audience has to fall in love with those movies first, and those characters first, and if they do and you develop an organic story reason to start bringing them together, great! But you can’t start with ‘Let’s just mash everybody together’… In order for you to enjoy The Mummy, you have to have a satisfying mummy experience. If we are then in that context able to set up a larger world? Great! But the setup of that larger world and whatever characters [star Tom Cruise] may meet over the course of the mummy movie have to be part of the mummy movie. It cannot take you out of that.”
So far, the only other “monster” character we know about being in The Mummy is Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll. Meanwhile, Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem reportedly lined up to play the Invisible Man and Frankenstein in future films. As for Dracula, considering that his literary nemesis Van Helsing is among the planned projects for the shared Monsters Universe, it’s a safe bet he’ll be (re) introduced at some point though we know not when.
The Mummy will be in theatres everywhere June 9, 2017.
Source: Screen Rant