‘Dark Universe’ Rumors Dwayne Johnson as ‘Wolf Man’, More Monsters On the Way

The Dark Universe franchise is expected to kick into gear next week with the arrival of The Mummy, but the groundwork for the rest of the cinematic universe is still being mapped. Universal Studios is confidently stepping up their game, with A-list casting announcements coming regularly.

What is known now is that Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Russel Crowe, Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem are established in their roles (Bardem will lead the Frankenstein film while Depp will portray Dr. Griffin, the Invisible Man) but according to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal are still hoping to snatch a few more top notch actors along the way.

Top picks are currently Dwayne Johnson as The Wolf Man and Angelina Jolie to portray The Bride of Frankenstein, who’s director has been confirmed as Bill Condon with David Koepp writing the script.

 

The Hollywood Reporter goes on to indicate that the Dark Universe may also be larger than anticipated, potentially attempting a new budget strategy that will allow for significantly lower-cost films to be included in the setting. Jason Blum of Blumhouse Studios (a Universal-owned property responsible for The Purge, Paranormal Activity and Get Out) has expressed interest in joining the fray with lower budget offerings that will still be considered a part of the wider Dark Universe. Other cinematic universes have attempted peripheral sub-franchises to help branch out the central blockbuster feature films, but up until now these have been TV shows rather than full cinematic releases.

It remains to be seen what Blumhouse Studios has planned, whether lesser known film monsters like The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Phantom of the Opera or The Hunchback of Notre Dame will be given the modern treatment or if even more recent or original characters will be added.

Dozens of films from the Universal era of monsters and horror are ripe for the picking, no doubt providing Universe material for decades to come.

 

On the topic of the groundwork behind the Dark Universe, Warner Bros. Entertainment are thought to be considering legal action against the Universal uber-project as a part of their planned DC Extended Universe which was to include an entry of the same title. This proposed film would focus on the popular Justice League Dark comic characters who handle the powerful supernatural threats that face the world, however it has not entered pre-production as of yet.

It remains to be seen if the legal action continues or if Warner Bros. will decide that a re-titling of their film idea will sufficiently settle the issue.

 

Thanks to Hollywood Reporter, Comingsoon and Cinemablend.

  • Larry Version 3

    Namor would probably be good actually. The Rock naturally has a powerful swagger type thing about him with a dickish attitude if he tries. Beta Ray Bill would be an interesting choice too.

    Oh god. The Rock as Mister Fantastic. That’d be epic.

  • Duke

    I think he’s “franchise viagra” meaning when people get tired of their favorite franchises, he’s what gives them the boost and makes people come back in. But starting franchises on his own he’s sort of 50/50 so far. I think he’s a way better supporting star.

  • Investigatin Detective

    Is Johnson that big a box office draw as the main star? Baywatch tanked last week and everything else he’s in makes him support. Not sure why anyone would want him as Wolfman.

  • *blank stare*

    He might make an interesting Namor, to counterpoint the DCEU’s Momoa.
    But I’d prefer he play someone a little unexpected like Beta Ray Bill or something.

    Maybe someone from the FF roster when (and I remain optimistic) the rights inevitably return to Marvel Studios in some way.

  • Duke

    Man I had the best idea for hoodies. They would have looked sick.

  • Larry Version 3

    Recasting was a mistake, I agree. it really takes you out of the film when they do that opening scene where she’s doing her book reading and its a different actress in the role we were supposed to know.

  • Basement_Bros

    He’s the Guillermo Del Toro of actors.

  • Basement_Bros

    I remember when The Rock was being rumored for Wolfman about a year ago. Sites assumed he was being considered for the beast, but I thought he was in the running for the “hunter.” Seems kind of redundant to make him The Wolfman when the actor is already a beast.

    P.S. If we ever have FilmExodus merchandise, apart from the obvious “Batman is a Fad” shirt, you deserve a “Cast Michael J. Fox” shirt.

  • Basement_Bros

    I didn’t hate Mummy 3 (nor did I love it, like Ebert’s inexplicable review), but recasting Eve was kind of a dealbreaker. Maria Bello did her best, but you can’t top Rachel Weisz in the role. They should’ve just written out the character.

  • Basement_Bros

    It was a cool character stuck in a forgettable movie, imo. I’d be keen for another crack. I’d rather they retrofit that movie into the universe than try to make Dracula Untold canon.

  • Basement_Bros

    There were so many better choices in the FanCast thread. http://filmexodus.com/fancast-universals-bride-of-frankenstein/

  • Larry Version 3

    The Mummy and The Mummy Returns were both decent. They kind of went downhill with 3, but I’m glad they tried at least to do something decent. It was still semi-enjoyable for me.

  • Larry Version 3

    Thank God, I was worried the Rock was running out of money.

    But seriously, who do you think he’s gonna play in the MCU when he finally joins? It seems to be the only thing he hasn’t touched.

  • King Alvarez

    I still need to watch that one of these days.

  • King Alvarez

    I like Dwane and all, but man is he starting to spread it too thin or what?

  • DryButSoupy

    I knew a guy once who looked almost exactly like The Rock.

    That’s all I got.

  • sailor monsoon

    Now we can get mads mikkelson for the role and all will be right in the universe

  • DryButSoupy

    I want to say that I read somewhere that his Dracula movie was no longer considered the start of this “universe.” Don’t hold me to that, though. I could be wrong.

  • Joshua Martyniouk

    Dwayne Johansen is perfect as the wolf man!

  • sailor monsoon

    I think what’s also interesting is that luke evans isn’t in that photo
    So i guess that means he’s no longer Dracula

  • Duke

    I think it’s mostly action adventure with a hint of horror is what they once said.

  • DryButSoupy

    Good point. I’ll admit that the first of those Mummy flicks was pretty decent taken for what it was.

  • Joe Newman

    I don’t know that he’s a bad leading man. He tends to be the best part of many of his subpar films.

  • Joe Newman

    To be fair, the first Brandon Fraser movie was also mostly action and it worked. I’m not going to talk about any of the sequels or spin-offs though.

  • Joe Newman

    Please no Angelina Jolie.

  • DryButSoupy

    The wolfman is my favorite of the Universal monsters. So far, I don’t really care about any of these modern updates. The Mummy doesn’t even look like a horror film. It looks more like a typical big-budget action-packed Tom Cruise vehicle. The Wolfman needs to be smaller scale and more personal. I’m not sure The Rock is the right man for the part. It needs to be tragic and moody. Can he do “tragic and moody?”

    I really don’t know what kind of tone they’re going for in these monster movies.

  • DontBeMeanInternet

    I adore that film.

  • tbone2278

    I actually enjoyed the Benicio Del Toro “Wolfman” movie that came out a few years back. Maybe they should give Del Toro another crack at the character within this new “Dark Universe” canon.

  • Anybody remember 1987’s Monster Squad????

  • Duke

    The Rock has so much on his plate that if he was to sign on for the Wolfman it probably wouldn’t get made until 2030. I could probably name about 20 films his had lined up.

  • Duke

    How about Michael J. Fox as the Wolfman. Not only would it reunite him with Universal Studios but would be a nice callback to Teen Wolf.

    Dwayne Johnson could be someone else, maybe a hero opposing the creature.

  • ResonanceCascade

    The Rock is way oversaturated right now. He’s great in supporting roles in big ensemble movies, but he’s a bad leading man.

    Actually, the same can be said of Depp, but at least The Invisible Man is right in his gothy wheelhouse. Unless they try to do another modern take on it ala Hollow Man or Memoirs of an Invisible Man, which is a terrible idea.

  • sailor monsoon

    I can see the rock fighting the creature of the black lagoon but not as the wolfman.
    Because the wolfman is terribly tragic.
    He just wants to die.
    The rock won’t be that dark, so he’ll just be a kickass wolf