Universal's Dark Universe didn't get off to a great start this summer with The Mummy severely underperforming at the domestic box office ($80.1 million) although its international haul ($329 million) fared better than expected. We reported last week that Guillermo del Toro was offered this monster universe, although he turned it down, a decision he now says he regrets, and in a new interview, the filmmaker reveals why he thinks that most modern monster reboots have been failing to impress audiences. Here's what the director had to say below.
"I think that there is a postmodern attitude towards the genre that tries to disarm or disassemble the genre in a postmodern way and I think that when you approach characters with earnest love, it's a lot less safe because you're not above the material. You are high on your own supply and it's easier to be ironic, so I think that's part of it. But then you have ambivalent things like Jordan Peele nailing it and making it not ironic, but reflexive. And he's a fusion of reverence and intelligence. It's a good year for the genre for sure."
The director has his own monster movie, The Shape of Water, which opened in New York this weekend, earning a whopping $166,800 from two theaters for an incredible $83,400 per-screen average, before expanding into 35 more theaters this weekend. While the creature in that movie was an original creation, he was inspired by the classic monster movie Creature from the Black Lagoon, a reboot of which he actually pitched to Universal several years ago. As of now, it remains unclear what in fact will happen with Universal's Dark Universe, but perhaps this uncertainty could lead to Guillermo del Toro possibly taking over.
We reported last month that the studio's Bride of Frankenstein is delayed, which had been slated for release on February 14, 2019. Filming was supposed to begin in February 2018, but now that this project has been indefinitely shelved, some have wondered what this could mean for this sprawling slate, that includes The Invisible Man starring Johnny Depp, Bride of Frankenstein, Wolfman and several others in early stages of development. With Bride of Frankenstein delayed, though, it remains to be seen what will come next for this franchise.
While Guillermo del Toro does regret turning down the Dark Universe, it's possible that he could come back to it after all. Earlier this month, producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, who had been shepherding this whole initiative from the start, have left the franchise, and there haven't been any more updates on the Dark Universe since then. Guillermo del Tor made this revelation during an interview with Screen Rant.