With the reveal of the first trailer of The Mummy, there's a phrase you're going to be hearing a lot in the next couple of months - Universal's Monsters.
It's essentially Universal trying to get in on the whole shared universe malark by mining its own archives for creatures and characters. In the '40s, Universal had a string of hugely successful monster films that featured Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, Dracula, the Mummy and a few others - one of them included Dracula.
2014's Dracula Untold was supposed to be the resurgence of Universal's Monsters banner. Directed by Irishman Gary Shore and starring Luke Evans, the film did poorly at the box-office and was universally (heh) panned by everyone. In an interview with Collider, Alex Kurtzman - who's directing The Mummy and is essentially the grand overseer of the whole Universal's Monsters banner - confirmed what everyone else seems to have understood.
Namely, that Dracula Untold is not part of the Universal's Monsters slate and that The Mummy is the reset button. Speaking at the press event, Kurtzman explained that "the only way you can build a universe is not to start by trying to build a universe. If you want to get there, the only way you’re going to get there is if the audience allows you to get there. Meaning, you have to do great individual films first."
"The audience has to fall in love with those movies first, and those characters first, and if they do and you develop an organic story reason to start bringing them together, great! But you can’t start with ‘Let’s just mash everybody together’…In order for you to enjoy The Mummy, you have to have a satisfying mummy experience."
The reason for all this caution is, undoubtedly, Zack Snyder's DC Cinematic Universe and the hiccups along the way there. Considering Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was expected to clear the $1 billion mark at the box office and came up short by about $250 million and the abject failure that is Suicide Squad, it's clear Universal doesn't want another flop on their hands and are working with extra care this time around.
Let's hope it pays off because who doesn't want to see the Mummy fighting the Wolf Man or Frankenstein?