Published On: Wed, Jan 24th, 2018

Universal’s ‘Invisible Man’ with Johnny Depp loses writer Ed Solomon, studio ‘reconfiguring’ Dark Universe

Universal’s Dark Universe was supposed to be a star-studded reboot of their classic monster franchise, obviously attempting to mimic Marvel’s MCU, but it has been a disaster.

More bad news arrives with the planned The Invisible Man film starring Johnny Depp. Ed Solomon (Men in BlackNow You See Me), who had been attached to the project for nearly two years, has officially parted ways with the project.

“At the end of the day, I think Universal and I had a different idea of what the movie was gonna be,” Solomon revealed to Digital Spy. “We began thinking that our notions would meld, and I should’ve listened more closely to what they really were wanting. I think Universal has had to come to a kind of reckoning of, ‘What are we doing with the Dark Universe?’ and, ‘What is our real intention with it?’, and I think they’re reconfiguring it now, which I think is probably good.

“So I’m not working on it.”

The franchise appears to be falling apart. Lead Dark Universe producers Alex Kurtzman (director of The Mummy) and Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious) exited the franchise, leaving the universe without anyone at its head.

Universal banked on audience familiarity with its classic movie monsters and the box office draw of its stars: Tom Cruise as The Mummy part 2, Russell Crowe as Jekyll/Hyde, Johnny Depp as the Invisible Man, Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s monster, and Sofia Boutella as the Mummy.

Then came the critical and commercial bombing of The Mummy, a film lost between Horror for the first half of the film and a plotless, lame Tom Cruise action film the latter half, wasting the talents of its stars and only grossed $80 million domestically on of a reported $125 million budget.

2014’s Dracula Untold starring Luke Evans was initially supposed to be the launching pad for the Dark Universe. Its poor box office gross was disappointing enough for the studio to pull the movie out of the cinematic universe altogether.

‘Bride of Frankenstein’ was pulled off of the 2019 schedule, so even that is uncertain right now. Planned films like The Wolf Man, Van Helsing, Creature from the Black Lagoon seemed incredibly unlikely at this point.

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