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Old 11-13-2017, 12:54 PM
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Default It Was Almost A Monster Mash: Universal's Dark Universe

I just realized we don't have a thread for one of the major non-comic-based film shared universes out there: Universal Pictures' Dark Universe, built on the legacy of their classic monster movie franchises like The Mummy, Frankenstein and Dracula. It was supposed to have begun with 2014's Dracula Untold but that got Green Lanterned off into non-canon status, with Tom Cruise's The Mummy taking its place as the official launch of the Dark Universe.

Anyway, it's canceled: The Dark Universe's architects have abandoned the project

more like The Dim Universe

The "Who Turned the Lights Out???" Universe

The "Guys I just stuck my head into the shareholders' meeting and things look fucking DARK" Universe
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2017, 12:58 PM
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Aw.

Not that I watched a single one of these movies, but I wanted to watch some of them.
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Old 11-13-2017, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaeran View Post
I just realized we don't have a thread for one of the major non-comic-based film shared universes out there: Universal Pictures' Dark Universe, built on the legacy of their classic monster movie franchises like The Mummy, Frankenstein and Dracula. It was supposed to have begun with 2014's Dracula Untold but that got Green Lanterned off into non-canon status, with Tom Cruise's The Mummy taking its place as the official launch of the Dark Universe.

Anyway, it's canceled: The Dark Universe's architects have abandoned the project
I wonder why we didn't have a thread already
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Old 11-13-2017, 12:59 PM
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It was bound to happen. You want to make a cinematic universe, first your movies have to be good, like Marvel's. Or at least profitable, like DC's.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:01 PM
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The Mummy was one of those things that the longer you watched it, the weirder it became.

Also like halfway through it, Dr Jekyll of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde shows up like WHAS GOOD MFERS I'M FUCKIN DR JEKYLL OH SNAP NOW I'M MR HYDE LOL and Tom Cruise was all like "Oh nooooo".
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:04 PM
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In case you missed it back in the day, the first official trailer for The Mummy was accidentally uploaded without most of the music or sound effects, and is absolutely required viewing:



Universal scrambled to get all instances of it taken down, but the internet never forgets.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:07 PM
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Oh my god this is amazing.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:11 PM
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The thing that no studio executive on earth seems to understand is that the Marvel universe started out small, and Marvel didn't make a big stink about their wild ambitions. The early movies left hooks for something bigger, but they initially kept the Sam Jackson cameos relegated to post-credits stingers, and they laid hints of a larger universe with Easter eggs that didn't affect the current film's plot. Each of the pre-Avengers felt like just a plain ol' standalone superhero movie until the very end of Captain America (which made it easy for them to wallpaper over Ed Norton's Hulk), and a big part of what made Marvel's universe viable is that it was built on a foundation of fun, self-contained films that established characters first and did the world-building stuff almost incidentally.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:13 PM
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Yeah, definitely. Every other studio, including WB/DC, seems to want to jump right to the "massive worldwide success and critical acclaim" part of the formula without putting in the work required to get there. Marvel laid out the blueprints for creating a complex, interconnected universe, and while following them wouldn't necessarily be easy, not following them is turning out to be even harder.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @danieljohnhall
Everyone wants to be Marvel but nobody wants to make Iron Man
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:17 PM
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In the summer of 2008, Marvel and DC both put out very good super hero movies. The Dark Knight overshadowed Iron Man in the moment, and most people probably wouldn't have guessed that the former would have a single bloated sequel and the latter would be the foundation for the most successful film franchise of all time.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:18 PM
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We had everything this could possibly have offered us in one already-existing great movie.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:21 PM
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DC’s movies are more critically maligned, (though WW is good and I believe others could be as well) but how much worse do they do at the box office?

I would say “extended universe about villains” is a weirder ask than one about superheroes, but, bizarrely, The Conjuring Cinematic Universe Exists. (actually, those are lower-budget horror movies and a different beast from blockbusters)
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:22 PM
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Also, people don’t go to the movies as much anymore because filmmakers believe films should be longer than 80 minutes. Wrong!
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:23 PM
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The average DCEU movie has made about as much money as the average MCU movie at the worldwide box office. The difference is that they've done it for 17 movies over ten years instead of four somewhat sporadically.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NavelsAreNeat View Post
DC’s movies are more critically maligned, (though WW is good and I believe others could be as well) but how much worse do they do at the box office?
Not too much worse. BVS is #15, but Wonder Woman is #5. DC characters are still extremely popular.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaeran View Post
I just realized we don't have a thread for one of the major non-comic-based film shared universes out there: Universal Pictures' Dark Universe, built on the legacy of their classic monster movie franchises like The Mummy, Frankenstein and Dracula. It was supposed to have begun with 2014's Dracula Untold but that got Green Lanterned off into non-canon status, with Tom Cruise's The Mummy taking its place as the official launch of the Dark Universe.
You jest but Dumbest Dracula Ever actually did use his Ten Bazillion Bats as some sort of Green Lantern construct.

Which makes me sad because I wanted to see Dracula Who Walks Around In Daylight Under a Flimsy Translucent Gazebo fight off Russell Crowe.

And it would've been hilarious to see Discount Luke Evans try to out-mug Tom Cruise when Jekyll Fury went "Drak Pack, assemble!"
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEAT View Post
Also like halfway through it, Dr Jekyll of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde shows up like WHAS GOOD MFERS I'M FUCKIN DR JEKYLL OH SNAP NOW I'M MR HYDE LOL and Tom Cruise was all like "Oh nooooo".
I mean remaking the Mummy is basically the equivalent of rebooting spider-man because the last films were decent popcorn fare already and pretty fucking recent. Mostly unnecessary, a bad place to hang a rebooted cinematic universe. But, this revelation, makes me sad I didn't watch the film. Because that's fucking bonkers.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:39 PM
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Dracula Untold promised something spooky, bonkers, and fun like a Castlevania; it delivered Vlad the Impaler's Wikipedia entry becoming a superhero.

The Mummy was basically just the producers going "Look at this cinematic universe we're building! We've got a thing like S.H.I.E.L.D., but for monsters!" Too bad Tom Cruise's buddy made a more likeable hero. At least the video game looks good?
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:42 PM
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I genuinely loved Dracula Untold and was so excited at the prospect of a sequel where all the Universal monsters teamed up to fight Orlock.

And now I’ve got nothing!

Didnt help that the sophomore effort was a reboot of one of my favorite adventure movies ever, except without any of the things I liked about it.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:45 PM
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I guess the games didn't begin...
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parish View Post
The thing that no studio executive on earth seems to understand is that the Marvel universe started out small, and Marvel didn't make a big stink about their wild ambitions. The early movies left hooks for something bigger, but they initially kept the Sam Jackson cameos relegated to post-credits stingers, and they laid hints of a larger universe with Easter eggs that didn't affect the current film's plot. Each of the pre-Avengers felt like just a plain ol' standalone superhero movie until the very end of Captain America (which made it easy for them to wallpaper over Ed Norton's Hulk), and a big part of what made Marvel's universe viable is that it was built on a foundation of fun, self-contained films that established characters first and did the world-building stuff almost incidentally.
What blows my mind about this is that each of the things you mention actually lessened the risks of tying together multiple tentpole action pictures, and that should be honey on the tongues of the investors who actually pay for this shit to get made.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleck View Post
We had everything this could possibly have offered us in one already-existing great movie.
... The Monster Squad?
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:48 PM
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When the producers signed off on a story called Dracula Untold maybe they should have stopped to consider why nobody had ever told it before.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleck View Post
We had everything this could possibly have offered us in one already-existing great movie.
I do feel somewhat robbed by the distinct lack of Dwayne Johnson/Oded Fehr spinoff vehicles. A different age...
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:50 PM
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Untold was the first few minutes of Coppolas Dracula, spread out to fill an hour and a half.

And the first five minutes of Coppolas Dracula was the part I liked the most!
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:53 PM
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It's funny how far removed the Mummy franchise has gotten from what inspired it. The 1930s Mummy is basically just Boris Karloff murmuring to the camera, which is somehow 9,000 times more compelling than whatever was supposed to be going on with the Cruise film.

Especially when you compare it to the themes and stories that get endlessly repeated in your Dracula and Frankenstein adaptations.

Not to knock the not-Indiana-Jones thing it became. I love that movie too.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:57 PM
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Hey, you got the Wayforward game. So you have that going for you. Which is nice.
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  #29  
Old 11-13-2017, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
It's funny how far removed the Mummy franchise has gotten from what inspired it. The 1930s Mummy is basically just Boris Karloff murmuring to the camera, which is somehow 9,000 times more compelling than whatever was supposed to be going on with the Cruise film.

Especially when you compare it to the themes and stories that get endlessly repeated in your Dracula and Frankenstein adaptations.

Not to knock the not-Indiana-Jones thing it became. I love that movie too.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen the original. I only watched Universal monster movies when I was a kid, and I think what I enjoyed reading about them and looking at glossy pictures of them more than anything.

My fave was... the creature from the black lagoon. No idea why.
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muteKi View Post
I mean remaking the Mummy is basically the equivalent of rebooting spider-man because the last films were decent popcorn fare already and pretty fucking recent. Mostly unnecessary, a bad place to hang a rebooted cinematic universe. But, this revelation, makes me sad I didn't watch the film. Because that's fucking bonkers.
It's a really, REALLY bad movie.

But it's a FASCINATING bad movie. Possibly the purest example of how not to do GUYS WE WANT A CINEMATIC UNIVERSE TOO since Batman V Superman.
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