The “Dark Universe” didn’t exactly get off to a good start with The Mummy, but Universal won’t let the franchise die, with everything from The Wolfman to The Hunchback of Notre Dame getting adaptations. I’d be more shocked than Frankenstein’s Monster if even half these films actually get made, but who knows, I’m no fortune teller.
Out of the five or six films slated to come out, the only one I really felt any amount of excitement for was Van Helsing. The whole concept of an international monster hunter is a neat idea, and the 2004 adaptation didn’t really do the concept justice.
Well that excitement’s sunk into the Black Lagoon with the announcement that Magic Mike pretty boy Channing Tatum is reportedly up for the role. Best known for being the worst part of The Hateful Eight and being the most meh part of 21 Jump Street, Tatum’s casting shows both that Universal hasn’t learned dick from The Mummy and that the entire “Dark Universe” is in deep trouble.
The Mummy was dead on arrival, but the stinkiest bandage was its star Tom Cruise, one of the most egregiously miscast actors in recent memory. Rather than relying on the literally thousands of years of mythology and lore surrounding Mummys, Universal decided resting everything on Cruise’s short shoulders was the right decision. The films complete failure shows pretty clearly that it wasn’t.
And now with Van Helsing,they’ve decided the badass concept of a 70 year old vampire hunter roaming the land in search of evil to destroy isn’t enough to bring asses to the theater. Instead we got to cast Channing, a man who beyond being a shitty actor, doesn’t have an ounce of what made the original character so special.
The Dark Universe is most likely fucked at this point. And if Universal keeps making decisions like this, that might be for the best.