dark army

Is the Dark Universe about to rise from the grave, resurrected by mad scientist Paul Feig? Kind of! Universal has been trying to reboot their classic monsters for a while, and came up with a big, dumb plan for a cinematic universe that launched with The Mummy starring Tom Cruise. But no one liked it! And a stake was driven through the heart of the Dark Universe. Now, Universal is trying-out individual films, like Leigh Whannell’s Invisible Man. But that’s apparently not the only Universal Monsters-themed film on the horizon. Paul Feig is set to direct Dark Army, which will reportedly feature classic Universal monsters.

Deadline broke the news about Dark Army, or what little news there is. Per their report, Feig will write and direct the film, and while there are no official plot details yet, rumors speculate that the movie “will include characters from Universal’s classic monster library and original characters created by Feig.” If this is accurate, it indicates Univeral is willing to give their monsters another go on the big screen.

The aborted Dark Universe that started with The Mummy was supposed to be followed by Bride of Frankenstein. In addition to that, the assumption was that all of these movies would cross-over with each other, just like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But when Universal later decided to go ahead with Leigh Whannell’s Invisible Man, they stated they were no longer interested in the shared universe idea – instead, they were committed to taking things one film a time. While that’s likely still the case, having several monsters pop up in Dark Army lets Universal get around the idea of rebooting multiple characters in individual movies.

Feig may not strike anyone as a horror director, which might suggest Dark Army has a comedic element to it. That said, Feig has shown range with darker material. His 2018 film A Simple Favor went to very dark places, and resulted in one of his best films. And say what you will about his Ghostbusters reboot, the way he handled the ghosts and supernatural elements in that movie was quite good.

With all that in mind, I’m very curious to see what he comes up with here. I’m a huge fan of the Universal Monsters, and while I don’t think the idea of a shared universe with these characters is a bad idea, Universal’s initial approach – which was to turn them into action movies – was a major misstep. I’m hoping they’ve learned their lesson and will let films like Invisible Man and Dark Universe embrace their horror roots.

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