Universal eyeing smaller budget Dark Universe films; Dwayne Johnson rumored for role

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Universal is set to kick off its Dark Universe in earnest soon with Tom Cruise’s The Mummy, and now the picture is starting to become clear about how the universe will grow over the next few years.

A new piece in The Hollywood Reporter notes the studio is considering a mix of big- and small-budget films set within its Dark Universe monster-verse. To that end, small-budget horror maestro Jason Blum has reportedly expressed interest in making a low-budget film set within the franchise, and it sounds like Universal is open to trying different things within this one connected universe. Speaking of connections, the report made clear that the Prodigium group introduced in The Mummy and, run by Russell Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll, will be the connective tissue across this universe (think Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. in the MCU).

The next film in the Dark Universe will be Bride of Frankenstein, which is set for 2019, and the studio is rumored to want Angelina Jolie to star in that one. There’s also an Invisible Man film (with Johnny Depp), a Dr. Jekyll movie (with Crowe) and a Frankenstein film (with Javier Bardem as the monster) all in the works. There are also rumblings that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson could join the Dark Universe in an unspecified role (a la Cruise). 

If you’re up for some inside baseball about Universal’s monster plans, the full feature is well worth a read.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)