Monday, May 22, 2023

Happy Sixth Anniversary To Universal Studios' Dark Universe Shared Cinematic Universe!

You remember Universal Studios' Dark Universe Shared Cinematic Universe, don't you? They announced it back in 2017, just a couple weeks before The Mummy premiered.

Universal had high hopes for this burgeoning new franchise, as they were confident it was gonna give the MCU a run for its money.

They even released this highly Photoshopped publicity shot of all the stars of the Universal Studios' Dark Universe Shared Cinematic Universe. Russell Crowe was to star as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and serve as sort of the Nick Fury of the franchise. Javier Bardem was most likely going to be Frankenstein's Monster. Tom Cruise was the new Action Hero Mummy. Johnny Depp was to be the Invisible Man. And Sofia Boutella was to be the new Scary Mummy (I guess?).

Remember all their thrilling adventures as they starred in their own individual movies, then teamed up for an epic crossover, ala The Avengers? Remember how awesome that wa... ohhhhhhhhhhh. Right. 

How embarrassing!

Of course to date, not a single one of the subsequent planned movies has been released. Supposedly 2020's The Invisible Man (the one starring Elizabeth Moss) was set in the Universal Studios' Dark Universe Shared Cinematic Universe, but since there's absolutely nothing whatsoever in the film to indicate this, I don't believe it.

There's a lesson here for other studios, even though they'll never learn from it. Something about chickens, eggs and hatching.

By the way, take a close look at that publicity photo. I absolutely GUARANTEE that none of those actors were in the same room at the same time. In addition to that, I'm betting Tom Cruise insisted he appear as tall as the other actors in the shot. As proof of this, note how he's standing behind Javier Bardem's chair, yet his right foot is somehow underneath it! And what's up with Russell Crowe's right hand? It looks for all the world like he's supposed to be holding a cane (as I think his character did). For some reason though, it was Photoshopped out, but they left his hand in the grasping position! Professional!

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