Early on, Universal had difficulty establishing their Dark Universe, consisting of films about Dracula, Wolfman, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Frankenstein, and Jekyll/Hyde. They tried to get things popping in 2014 with Dracula Untold, but that was a financial and critical failure. Unfortunately, 2017’s The Mummy starring Tom Cruise suffered a similar fate in an attempt to reboot things.
With that, the studio’s Dark Universe was DOA. That is until Leigh Whanelle’s Invisible Man (2019) exceeded expectations and revived faith in the franchise.
Invisible Man opened the door for new stories, cast, directors, and films. The latest film to find a home at Universal is Renfield. If you know the Dracula story, ole Renfield was one of Dracula’s familiars. He isn’t a central character in the story, so the choice to make a film about and explore his life pre and post Dracula is interesting.
Director Chris McKay (The Tomorrow War) is in talks to direct the movie with Rick and Morty writer Ryan Ridley. On Kevin Smith’s Fat Man Beyond podcast, writer and Renfield producer Robert Kirkman discussed what fans could expect from the film. “We’re doing this cool movie for Universal that’s a focus on Renfield,” Kirkman said. “It’s a story about him being Dracula’s henchman and how shitty a job that is. It’s a fun, extremely violent comedy because I’ve got a crutch, and it’s violence.”
Digital Spy reports that Dark Universe is quickly on the move, with several projects already in the works.
- Dracula, directed by Karyn Kusama
- The Invisible Woman, directed by Elizabeth Banks
- Ryan Gosling is starring in a new take on The Wolfman, directed by Leigh Whannell.
- Paul Feig’s Dark Army, which is said to feature classic Universal monsters
There are even more films out there, but they don’t in development but don’t have any specific details available.