2:45 pm EDT, November 8, 2017

Universal’s Dark Universe may already be heading for the coffin

A reimagining of Universal’s iconic characters may already be in big trouble.

The Hollywood Reporter has learned that the two people handling the Dark Universe, writer/producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, have quietly left the overall project at Universal to pursue other projects.

Now, films starring characters like Wolfman and The Invisible Man are in jeopardy, and The Bride of Frankenstein no longer has Angelina Jolie attached to star. The film was removed from the schedule because the studio wants more work done on the script by Bill Condon.

The franchise got off on a bad foot when the first film in the series, The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, underperformed at the box office. And we thought it sucked.

Related: Three lessons the Dark Universe could learn from the original Universal Monsters movies

Writes THR:

Universal is exploring its options. One road involves offering the IP to high-profile filmmakers or producers (Jason Blum has been mentioned) with ideas for one-off movies not connected to a larger universe. And the studio could find a new architect who could overhaul the concept.

“We’ve learned many lessons throughout the creative process on Dark Universe so far, and we are viewing these titles as filmmaker-driven vehicles, each with their own distinct vision,” says Universal president of production Peter Cramer. “We are not rushing to meet a release date and will move forward with these films when we feel they are the best versions of themselves.”

Universal had high hopes for their cinematic universe, drumming up excitement by releasing the above photo depicting expected franchise stars Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp and Sophia Boutella.

Editor’s note: Johnny Depp, who is involved in this franchise, allegedly beat his ex-wife Amber Heard. These accusations were made by Heard and Depp’s former associates. Why are we telling you this?

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