Universal has been working on putting together a cinematic universe centered on their classic movie monsters, which will kick off this summer with director Alex Kurtzman's The Mummy. Today, the studio got serious about things, officially declaring that this rebooted series will be called "Dark Universe," as well as confirming some major players for these upcoming movies. Both Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem have been announced for the roles of The Invisible Man and Frankenstein's Monster respectively.

Universal Pictures made it official that both actors are going to be part of Dark Universe, as had been previously rumored. The studio released a photo of the actors who are currently locked down, with Tom Cruise as Nick Morton, Sofia Boutella as the Mummy, Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, as well as Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem. Sadly, none of them were all creatured up, but it isn't like a picture of an invisible Johnny Depp would be all that compelling anyway. In any case, the studio has truly nabbed some A-list talent to kick of this new cinematic universe.

There is still no release date announced for either The Invisible Man or Frankenstein remakes, but with the big stars officially signed on, expect some news to come in the near future. As far as Javier Bardem as Frankenstein's Monster goes, he could be showing up in the next Dark Universe movie, which is Bride of Frankenstein. As part of Universal's big news drop, they announced that Bill Condon is directing Bride of Frankenstein and that the movie will be coming out on February 14, 2019. Since Frankenstein's Monster is tied pretty heavily to the original, it would make absolute sense for him to show up there.

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When it comes to The Invisible Man and when we may first see Johnny Depp, that is less certain. There is probably room for a cameo somewhere. He may even show up in The Mummy, possibly in a post-credit scene or something along those lines. We won't have to wait long to find out, since that movie comes out on June 9. Before Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem show up on screen together as some classic movie monsters, we will be able to see them together in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales this weekend. While that may not be related, it will at least give us some sense of what kind of chemistry they have with one another, which will be important.

Despite the fact that The Mummy hasn't even been released yet, Universal seems to have a tremendous amount of confidence in this idea and they have doubled down in a big way. If this experiment fails, it certainly won't be for a lack of big names and talent. We will be sure to keep you up to date as more details on the Dark Universe projects, such as The Invisible Man and Frankenstein, are made available.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott