With Universal having now got their ‘Dark Universe’ of shared monster movies off to a start with the (frankly so-so, at best) new take on The Mummy, now comes some interesting news on another of the studio’s rebooted beastie-based properties.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Universal Pictures is eagerly pursuing Channing Tatum in the hopes of getting him to headline their upcoming Van Helsing reboot. Previously, Tom Cruise was actually up for that role back in 2012 before he signed on to star in The Mummy. Now, it appears that the Jump Street and Magic Mike star is the clear frontrunner when it comes to who is in demand to take on the Abraham Van Helsing role.
The last we’d heard on Van Helsing was at the start of the year when Wrath of the Titans’ Dan Mazeu was brought in to rework the screenplay previously put in place by Arrival’s Eric Heisserer and Doctor Strange’s Jon Spaihts.
Despite some believing that the poor critical and commercial response to The Mummy may throw a major spanner into Universal’s Dark Universe plans, the studio is intent on moving forward as planned with this shared cinematic realm. Up next for this world, Beauty and the Beast’s Bill Condon is directing February 2019’s Bride of Frankenstein – which is still doing its best to get Angelina Jolie signed up to star. Elsewhere, Johnny Depp is to take the titular role in The Invisible Man, Javier Bardem is signed on to play the famed monster in Frankenstein, Dwayne Johnson is wanted to star in The Wolfman, Scarlett Johansson is the favourite to headline The Creature From the Black Lagoon, and then there are plans afoot for the Phantom of the Opera and the Hunchback of Notre Dame to get their own Dark Universe pictures. Tying all of this together, of course, will be Russell Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll and the Prodigium organisation introduced in The Mummy.
As for the Van Helsing character, he was created by Bram Stoker as part of Dracula back in 1897. In that novel and beyond, Abraham Van Helsing has battled the bloodsucker and many other notable beastly creatures. On the big screen, Edward Van Sloan first played the character in 1931’s Dracula, then came Peter Cushing in Hammer’s Dracula franchise, Sir Laurence Olivier in 1979’s Dracula, Sir Anthony Hopkins in 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and then Hugh Jackman in the 2004 Van Helsing picture.
Expect more on Van Helsing and the entire Dark Universe as we get it.
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