– by Joseph Jammer Medina

For several months, we’ve known that Universal has been hard at work crafting a unique universe of their own. While Marvel and DC have decades of history to pull from comics, Universal has rights to very specific interpretations of some classic monsters that include Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, the Invisible Man, and countless others. This world is set to be kicked off next month with Tom Cruise’s The Mummy, and if all goes well, this could be the beginnings of a long-running and thriving franchise.

But what is the official name of said universe? MonsterVerse seemed like a solid name, but sadly the folks over at Warner Bros. and Legendary nabbed that name for their Godzilla/King Kong universe. Universal Monsters Universe sounds dumb and redundant, so it seemed unlikely they’d go with that. Thanks to a new announcement from Universal, we now have a name to put to this world…

Dark Universe.

Along with the announcement, they released a photo that shows the likes of Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, and Sofia Boutella.

Here’s what the studio had to say about this new brand:

“Dark Universe films will be distinguished by performances from some of the most talented and popular global superstars stepping into iconic roles, as well as electric new talents whose careers are starting to break through.  While previously announced, the stars of both imminent and future Dark Universe projects are gathered for the first time in the attached photo: The Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s Monster will be played by, respectively, blockbuster icon Johnny Depp and Academy Award® winner Javier Bardem, who appear together later this summer in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.  Those actors join superstar Tom Cruise as soldier of fortune Nick Morton and Oscar® winner Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll, who lead the all-star cast of The Mummy, along with Sofia Boutella, the actress who embodies the title role in that film.
“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.”

In addition to having a new name to refer to, this universe comes with an official logo. However, the branding itself doesn’t end there. Each film will contain a legit Dark Universe stinger at the front, and the motion logo will feature a theme composed by none other than Danny Elfman. 

Elfman had the following to say:

“I grew up on monsters. Monsters were my life, and these iconic Universal monsters
were almost like my family. I simply wouldn’t be the same without them. When I got the opportunity to compose a theme for the Dark Universe logo, of course I jumped at it. What could be more fun than connecting to this world that has always been so deeply imbedded in my psyche? I tried to find something that was new but still had some connections with the past—the origins—at least in a subtle way. Something that was looking forward to a creative, fertile, imaginative future that Dark Universe will enter, and at the same time saluting the heritage of the tragic heroes (or anti-heroes) of my childhood. To the Monsters!!!!”

It’s definitely a solid name for the universe, but we can’t help but scratch our heads over it, as it shares the same name as the forever-in-development Justice League Dark adaptation. On the whole, this is an interesting move, and it may irk some fans that the studio is already planning on the success of The Mummy. While this is all promising, if The Mummy flops hardcore, they could wind up looking quite presumptuous.

What do you think of this new branding? Does this get you any more pumped for The Mummy? Let us know your thoughts down below!

The Mummy hits theaters on June 9, 2017.

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SOURCE: Universal

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.