For a time, it looked like Universal's Dark Universe was going to be a huge franchise to keep an eye on, with the studio developing new reboots based on the countless horror icons in their library, such as Dracula, Frankenstein and The Invisible Man, just to name a few. The studio got off to a shaky start with The Mummy, which has had quite an impact on the franchise as a whole, with The Invisible Man writer Ed Solomon confirming he is no longer attached to the project, and that he believes the studio is, "re-configuring" the entire franchise. Here's what he had to say below.
"At the end of the day, I think Universal and I had a different idea of what the movie was gonna be. We began thinking that our notions would meld, and I should've listened more closely to what they really were wanting. I think Universal has had to come to a kind of reckoning of, 'What are we doing with the Dark Universe?' and, 'What is our real intention with it?', and I think they're reconfiguring it now, which I think is probably good. So I'm not working on it."
The Invisible Man had the potential to be one of the biggest movies in the Dark Universe franchise, with Johnny Depp starring as the title character. The actor's casting was first reported on back in November 2016, and was finally confirmed in May 2017, with Universal releasing the first photo of all the Dark Universe characters together, with Russell Crowe (Dr. Jekyll), Tom Cruise (Nick Morton), Javier Bardem (Frankenstein), Johnny Depp (The Invisible Man) and Sofia Boutella (The Mummy). The project never had a director attached, and with writer Ed Solomon confirming he is off the project, don't expect this to move forward anytime soon.
Universal had brought on Alex Kurtzman, who directed The Mummy, and writer Chris Morgan, the primary architect of the Fast and the Furious franchise, to take the reins on the Dark Universe, with Alex Kurtzman signing a three-year deal with Universal in September 2014. Back in November, though, we reported that both Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan had backed out of the Dark Universe, leaving much doubt about the studio's other projects.
Despite losing franchise producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, Universal is reportedly putting together a new production team for The Bride of Frankenstein, in perhaps a last-ditch effort to save the Dark Universe. While The Mummy didn't fare terribly well at the domestic box office ($80.2 million), it did quite well internationally ($329 million), with the entire Dark Universe said to center around the multi-national corporation Prodigium, lead by Russell Crowe's Dr. Jekyll, although it remains unclear if those plans are still in place, following The Mummy's disappointing performance. Ed Solomon broke the news about The Invisible Man during his interview with Digital Spy.