After two failed attempts to kickstart a new shared universe with the classic Universal Monster characters, it looks like Universal is finally comfortable calling the upcoming "The Mummy" movie the new launching point of what they call the "Dark Universe" franchise. Of course, it all starts on June 9 with "The Mummy" starring Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe. After that, Universal has plans for "Bride Of Frankenstein," and then the reintroduction of more classic Universal Monsters for a new era of film fans.

Universal Monsters

For fans who are unfamiliar with the Universal Monsters, these were characters first introduced into the world of movies back in the '30s and '40s.

It all started with Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, and then moved on to Frankenstein, with Boris Karloff as the monster. From there, Universal introduced The Mummy, Wolf-Man, Bride of Frankenstein, Invisible Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon.

The Universal Monsters franchise died around the time of World War II when the horrors of war made fictional horror movies almost obsolete. They made a huge return with Hammer Films in the '60s and '70s with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee as the lead actors. The Universal Monsters have been used sparingly ever since.

The Dark Universe

The new Universal Monsters universe is known as the Dark Universe. This was originally supposed to start back in 2010 with Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins starring in "The Wolfman." However, bad special effects hurt what was otherwise a solid horror movie.

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A second attempt was made to start it with the Luke Evans' movie "Dracula Untold" in 2014. However, a horrible script killed this despite a post-credit scene that was meant to start the new monsters' universe.

Now, it is time to start again. "The Mummy" has little to do with the original monster played by Boris Karloff. Instead, this Mummy is an ancient princess awakened from her crypt seeking vengeance after losing what was meant to be hers years before. Tom Cruise is the hero here, a military operative named Nick Morton, although some are suggesting he might actually be Van Helsing. Also appearing in the film is Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jeckyl, who many horror fans know as the good side of Dr. Jeckyl/Mr. Hyde.

There are two new additions as well to the Dark Universe cast. Javier Bardem has signed on as Frankenstein's Monster and will likely debut in Bill Condon's "Bride of Frankenstein" in February 2019. Also signed on is Johnny Depp, who will play The Invisible Man in a future movie.