If you were a fan of 2014’s origin story Dracula Untold, I’m afraid I’ve got some rather unfortunate news to spoil your day. Originally, the film was supposed to be the first in a series of shared continuity Universal Monster films, but Alex Kurtzman, the director of the upcoming Mummy movie, confirmed to Collider that the Lord of the Undead’s blockbuster outing will no longer be part of said series.
This comes as a huge blow to fans who enjoyed Dracula Untold and were looking forward to seeing Luke Evan’s depiction of the famous vampire share the screen alongside other famous monsters in the near future. It also puts Universal at a loss, because it means that their planned cinematic universe doesn’t even begin until The Mummy (trailer below) hits screens on June 9, 2017.
The most likely reason why Dracula Untold is being dumped in the bin is because of its somewhat negative reviews, which Universal may feel will negatively impact the rest of the films. This is despite the fact that it was a financial success, earning $217,124,280 against a budget of $70 million, so their shared universe would have already been off to a strong start, so to speak. Evans’ performance was also widely praised (even though the rest of the film wasn’t), so Universal already had the right man for the job when it came to portraying Dracula. Lord knows who they’ll replace him with.
More importantly, as we learned from the somewhat disappointing $873,260,194 gross of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, shared universe films are not automatically certified to be hits, no matter how popular their characters may be. Not every series can be Star Wars of The Avengers, and as audiences are likely to be experiencing fatigue with the concept of the shared universe, the fact that Universal are now starting theirs a full nine years after Iron Man started Marvel’s just doesn’t seem like a smart move.