We’ve known for a while now that Universal has been angling to launch its very own universe based off its stable of monster properties, but today the studio named its budding franchise that will kick off with this summer’s The Mummy. It will be known as the Dark Universe—not to be confused with DC’s Dark Universe—and will officially continue with a Bill Condon directed Bride Of Frankenstein, set for release on Valentine’s Day 2019. How romantic. While casting for the eponymous role has yet to be announced, the current stars posed for a portrait, including: The Mummy’s Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella; Johnny Depp, who will be The Invisible Man; and Javier Bardem, scheduled to play Frankenstein’s Monster.
The announcement also revealed that Russell Crowe is going to be playing the Nick Fury of this universe, given that the organization run by his Henry Jekyll, Prodigum, is made out to be the S.H.I.E.L.D. According to the press release:
At its organizing principle, Dark Universe films are connected by a mysterious multi-national organization known as Prodigium. Led by the enigmatic and brilliant Dr. Henry Jekyll, Prodigium’s mission is to track, study and—when necessary—destroy evil embodied in the form of monsters in our world. Working outside the aegis of any government, and with practices concealed by millennia of secrecy, Prodigium protects the public from knowledge of the evil that exists just beyond the thin membrane of civilized society…and will go to any length to contain it.
Danny Elfman composed the theme for the endeavor, while Mummy director Alex Kurtzman and Fast & Furious writer Chris Morgan are being pegged as the driving creative forces behind it. Universal also cited Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation’s Christopher McQuarrie, who has a Mummy writing credit, and screenwriter David Koepp as new additions to the behind-the-scenes team.