As Universal gears up to release their high-budget, star-studded The Mummy next week—and potentially lawyer up to do battle with Warner Bros. over the Dark Universe name—they may decide to bring on an unlikely partner to their cinematic universe. While DC and Marvel movies continue to break banks and minds with their astronomical budgets in an effort to make bigger and more epic superhero films, the Dark Universe will reportedly have the flexibility to go the exact opposite route.
Citing sources, THR reports that Universal is in talks with Jason Blum and his production company, Blumhouse Pictures, about the possibility of creating a low-budget film in the universe. Blumhouse has already had a truly exceptional beginning to 2017 with the releases of Split and Get Out. The former grossed $276.9 million worldwide against a $9 million budget, while the latter hit $241.6 million worldwide with just a $4.5 million budget, and neither film’s quality suffered for it. Get Out is quickly becoming one of the highest-rated movies ever on Rotten Tomatoes, while Split is being touted as comeback for much-maligned director M. Night Shyamalan. Because Universal’s creatures are all public domain (i.e., free), they have much more flexibility in the way they spend their money. By comparison, Disney was forced to spend $4 billion to purchase Marvel.
Everything we’re hearing about the Dark Universe—lawsuits aside—seems to be trending positive. Blumhouse is a well-respected studio able to make great horror films for a low cost, and could be a fantastic addition to Universal’s cinematic universe. The more they can do to distance themselves from the big-budget powerhouse franchises like Star Wars, DC and Marvel, the more likely it is that they’ll succeed. Universal obviously isn’t steering completely away from big-budget pictures or major movie stars, as recent announcements have shown, but a few more intimate affairs here and there could be exactly what the Dr. Jekyll ordered.
For more information about the Dark Universe click here.