World of monsters reboot

Stars of the upcoming Dark Universe films include (from left) Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp and Sofia Boutella.
Stars of the upcoming Dark Universe films include (from left) Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp and Sofia Boutella.PHOTO: UNIVERSAL PICTURES

Universal Pictures will release a series of films that brings together the studio's classic monster characters, starting with The Mummy

Talk about a monstrous undertaking.

Universal Pictures is launching a series of films collectively known as Dark Universe, which will revive and bring together the studio's classic monster characters such as Dr Jekyll and Frankenstein's Monster in a single world.

Taking on these iconic roles are a number of big-name stars, from Australian Oscar winner Russell Crowe playing Dr Jekyll to Spanish Oscar winner Javier Bardem playing Frankenstein's Monster to American superstar Johnny Depp playing The Invisible Man.

The first instalment in the Dark Universe series will be the upcoming The Mummy reboot, which stars Algerian actress Sofia Boutella in the titular role and American actor Tom Cruise as a soldier who encounters her in Egypt. The Mummy opens here on June 8.

Dark Universe's core creatives are Alex Kurtzman, director of The Mummy, as well as Christopher McQuarrie (director of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, 2015), Chris Morgan (writer of the hit Fast & Furious films) and David Koepp (writer of Spider-Man, 2002).

In a joint press statement, Kurtzman and Morgan were quoted as saying: "When Universal approached us with the idea of re-imagining these classic characters, we recognised the responsibility of respecting their legacy while bringing them into new and modern adventures.

"The studio and our fellow creative collaborators have championed and challenged us as we've begun to spin the web of Dark Universe. It's our hope these movies will engross long-time fans and spark the imaginations of brand- new ones."

Following The Mummy, Dark Universe's next film will be Bride Of Frankenstein, which is set for release in 2019. It is a reboot of James Whale's 1935 classic horror movie of the same name, a sequel to the 1931 hit, Frankenstein. The new film will be directed by Bill Condon, who also made Beauty And The Beast (2017).

He says in the same press statement: "I'm very excited to bring a new Bride Of Frankenstein to life on screen, particularly since James Whale's original creation is still so potent.

"The Bride Of Frankenstein remains the most iconic female monster in film history and that's a testament to Whale's masterpiece - which endures as one of the greatest movies ever made."

To link all the characters together, the Dark Universe films are said to be connected by a mysterious organisation known as Prodigium, which aims to protect the public from evil monsters.

•The Mummy opens in cinemas on June 8.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2017, with the headline 'World of monsters reboot'. Print Edition | Subscribe