The Mummy, arriving June 9th, isn’t just another movie featuring Tom Cruise proving yet again he loves stunts. It’s also going to be Universal’s shot at turning their classic monster movies into a “shared universe,” something they’ve already tried with limited success in Dracula Untold. And now we know what other ideas they might have, with new casting announcements a name that makes the shared universe official.
The shared universe is officially called Dark Universe, and Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem will be joining as the Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s monster, respectively, with Bardem playing the monster in the upcoming Bride Of Frankenstein remake, the only new film that’s been announced at the moment. Yes, Universal has come down squarely on one side of the internet’s silliest debate. They’ve even rolled out a website for the organization, Prodigium, run by one Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) that’s supposed to string this all together. The site has a brief video that hints at other monsters, including Dracula and the Gill Man, both of whom seem to have gone up against Jekyll’s team and lost:
Depp, perhaps, is not the best casting choice, since the Invisible Man is, uh, generally prone to psychotic behavior and violent outbursts, although with no Wolf Man we guess somebody has to pick up the slack when it comes to nudity jokes. But just as fascinating is that it’s not clear how Cruise’s character Nick Morton fits in here, and furthermore that Prodigium does not seem to be a very nice bunch of people, according to Universal’s press release:
Led by the enigmatic and brilliant Dr. Henry Jekyll, Prodigium’s mission is to track, study and—when necessary—destroy evil embodied in the form of monsters in our world. Working outside the aegis of any government, and with practices concealed by millennia of secrecy, Prodigium protects the public from knowledge of the evil that exists just beyond the thin membrane of civilized society…and will go to any length to contain it.
The monsters, in other words, might be scary, but they may not be the bad guys. We’ll find out June 9th.