Universal's Dark Universe got off to a very rocky start. The Mummy kicked off this interconnected cinematic universe of monster movies, but the movie was a major bomb, both critically and financially. But the studio is pressing ahead and has their eyes on yet another big star for a key role. It looks like they want Channing Tatum to star in their planned reboot of Van Helsing.
The Hollywood Reporter recently ran a major breakdown of franchise movies and how they performed at the summer box office, as well as giving a quick look at the future of those franchises. In the case of Dark Universe, The Mummy didn't scare Universal enough to make them abandon their plans. They are still going after big name talent and, as such, they have their sights set on Channing Tatum for Van Helsing. Here's what THR had to say about it.
"Convinced Tom Cruise saved Mummy from being a bigger flop, the studio is betting on names, prepping an offer to Angelina Jolie for Bride of Frankenstein (slated for release on Feb. 14, 2019) and polishing the script for Van Helsing, aimed for Channing Tatum. Johnny Depp is attached to star in The Invisible Man."
Bride of Frankenstein, which is the only other Dark Universe movie that has locked down an official release date, isn't coming out for another year and a half. That will give some time to wash away the bad taste left behind by The Mummy and will help them rethink their strategy a bit. But they feel the one part of their strategy that is working is going for big movie stars. Angelina Jolie has been rumored for Bill Condon's Bride of Frankenstein for a very long time and it sounds like they are going to try and make it official soon.
As for Channing Tatum, he no doubt has the skills to pull of something like a Van Helsing reboot, which doesn't currently have a director attached. He is no stranger to franchises, having done the 21 Jump Street Movies and, utilizing a different skill set, the Magic Mike movies. He is also still attached to play Gambit in the X-Men franchise as well as his role in the upcoming Kingsman: The Secret Service. Getting someone as likable as Channing Tatum to play such a big character, who was previously portrayed by Hugh Jackman, would seem to be a step in the right direction. At least on paper.
Dark Universe also has Javier Bardem attached to the reboot of Frankenstein and they are also working on a Creature From the Black Lagoon reboot, as well as new takes on Phantom of the Opera and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Other big names that the studio reportedly wants include Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence. They are certainly aiming high, we can say that much. It's just a matter of if they can find an opening in Channing Tatum's busy schedule to make it happen, but this feels like something that could definitely become a reality.