DRACULA, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME Joining Universal’s Dark Universe
Reboots of Dracula, Phantom of the Opera, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame are coming to Universal’s Dark Universe, the shared universe of interconnected monster movies that kicks off with The Mummy (in theaters Friday). Alex Kurtzman, director of The Mummy and overseer of Dark Universe, revealed the projects in an interview with Fandom.
“We know we’re going to do Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Phantom of the Opera, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Invisible Man,” he said, emphasizing the crossover potential of the cinematic universe. “There are characters within those films that can grow and expand and maybe even spin off. I think that digging into deep mythologies about monsters around the world is fair game for us, as well and connecting the monsters that we know to some surprising monsters could also be really interesting.”
Kurtzman’s revelation is the first official talk we’ve heard of reboots for Phantom and Hunchback, with Dracula an expected property to be revisited. (2014’s Dracula Untold, starring Luke Evans, was originally poised to launch a shared universe of monster movies. Poor reception and poor box office performance nixed the idea.)
Universal’s 1925 The Phantom of the Opera starred Lon Chaney, Sr. in the titular role, with Universal later producing a musical redo in 1943’s Phantom of the Opera. Chaney also starred in Universal’s 1923 adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame as deformed bell-ringer Quasimodo.
Bride of Frankenstein, the next film on the Dark Universe slate, is set to open on Valentine’s Day 2019. Angelina Jolie is reportedly being eyed to star. Meanwhile, Universal has set Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s Monster, Johnny Depp as the Invisible Man, and Russell Crowe (appearing in The Mummy) as Dr. Jekyll, head of the monster-hunting organization Prodigium, and who will be used as one of the connective threads between films. Dwayne Johnson is rumored to be in the running for the role of the Wolfman.
When asked what actors he’d like to see step foot into the Dark Universe, Kurtzman listed stars Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlize Theron, and Angelina Jolie. The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, and Russell Crowe, opens Friday.