Dark Universe which proved to be one of the most egregious examples of fast-tracking a cinematic universe, was to begin with last year's The Mummy. Though when that film fell staggeringly short of expectations; both critically and at the box office, it caused the studio to halt production on the next film in the series, and threw the entire endeavor into question.
A few months later saw the release of Del Toro's The Shape of Water, which many remarked bore similarities to Universal's 1954 classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon, causing audiences to lament the fact that the Universal's own update of their classic property's weren't nearly as good.
With that, the desire to see Crimson Peak director Guillermo Del Toro (whose love for classic monster movies is a matter of public record) helm the monster universe, was reignited. While speaking to ScreenRant, producer J. Miles Dale talks about their relationship with Universal Monsters and The Dark Universe, and reveals if any talks have taken place:
“We haven’t really talked about it. I’ve made seven movies for Universal and know and love them well, and they’re doing their own thing now after The Mummy. It’s interesting, Guillermo actually pitched them a version of this movie (The Shape of Water), of a remake of Creature, but I think at a certain point when they heard that the girl and the monster get it on, they were like, ‘OK, here’s your parking validation. You can go now.’ It’s a very strong IP (intellectual property) for them and they’re going to do whatever they want. It’s such a bigger project (for them), but we haven’t really talked about it. I know (Guillermo) has thoughts on all those movies. He’s got thoughts on Frankenstein, he’s had thoughts on Bride, and certainly he’s not going to be remaking Creature from the Black Lagoon now, I feel he’s done his version of that. But we haven’t talked about it and certainly wish them luck.”
I'm sure following The Shape of Water winning Best Picture, Universal must be kicking themselves that they didn't bring Del Toro on board in some capacity, then we might have gotten a Dark Universe of beautiful, graceful and poetic gothic romances and thrillers, instead of the lackluster modern action film that was The Mummy reboot.
Not all hope is lost however, as Dale states the Pan's Labyrinth director sill has "thoughts" about these movies and with Universal's recent failings and Del Toro's success, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that both sides may be looking to reopen conversations.
What do you think? Would you like to see Del Toro helm THE DARK UNIVERSE? What did you think of The Shape of Water? Which Universal monster film is your favourite? Leave your thoughts below.