Universal's Monster Movies Titled Dark Universe, Johnny Depp Joins

Universal Pictures has officially announced that its planned series of films based on classic movie monsters exist in what will be known as the Dark Universe, and added Johnny Depp to Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe at the center of the cinematic world.

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The announcement includes a new musical score for The Mummy, starring Cruise and opening June 9, from composer Danny Elfman. The film will be the first movie in the Dark Universe series, followed by Bride of Frankenstein from director Bill Condon; Bride will arrive in theaters February 14, 2019.

Along with the naming of the monsters cinematic universe comes a group photo of actors who will be starring in the Dark Universe, including Johnny Depp as the Invisible Man and Javier Bardem as Frankenstein's Monster; Tom Cruise as Nick Morton, Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll, and Sofia Boutella as the titular villain in The Mummy.

“When Universal approached us with the idea of reimagining these classic characters, we recognized the responsibility of respecting their legacy while bringing them into new and modern adventures,” The Mummy producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan said in a press release. “The studio and our fellow creative collaborators have championed and challenged us as we’ve begun to spin the web of Dark Universe. It’s our hope these movies will engross longtime fans and spark the imaginations of brand-new ones.”

“I grew up on monsters,” Elfman said. “Monsters were my life, and these iconic Universal monsters were almost like my family. I simply wouldn’t be the same without them. When I got the opportunity to compose a theme for the Dark Universe logo, of course I jumped at it. What could be more fun than connecting to this world that has always been so deeply imbedded in my psyche? I tried to find something that was new but still had some connections with the past—the origins—at least in a subtle way. Something that was looking forward to a creative, fertile, imaginative future that Dark Universe will enter, and at the same time saluting the heritage of the tragic heroes (or anti-heroes) of my childhood. To the Monsters!!!!”

“I’m very excited to bring a new Bride of Frankenstein to life on screen, particularly since James Whale’s original creation is still so potent,” Condon reiterated. “The Bride of Frankenstein remains the most iconic female monster in film history, and that’s a testament to Whale’s masterpiece—which endures as one of the greatest movies ever made.”

A "Monsters Legacy" promo reel with footage from the original classic monsters films highlights Condon's musical score and the unique characters of the cinematic universe.

Directed by Alex Kurtzman, The Mummy will be the first film in the Universal Monsters shared universe, which will feature a new spin on the studio’s vast catalog of classic horror characters, including the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the Bride of Frankenstein.

Arriving June 9, The Mummy stars Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance and Russell Crowe.

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