Channing Tatum is top of Universal's list to join their Dark Universe and star as legendary vampire hunter (and Dracula's nemesis) Abraham Van Helsing.

The first instalment in Universal's Dark Universe launched last month with The Mummy, and it didn't have the monster box office results Universal had expected. Making just under $80 million in the US, and a more respectable $312 million from the rest of the so far, The Mummy will finish its theatrical run somewhere in the $400-420 million bracket. While not a complete disaster, the mediocre domestic performance has caused Universal to rethink their plans for The Dark Universe.

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Aside from a clunky script and an utter lack of horror, the most frequent complaint about The Mummy was the presence of Tom Cruise. As soon as Cruise was attached to the project, all hope for a scary Mummy reboot was lost as we knew we would be getting a Tom Cruise action movie. There's nothing wrong with a Tom Cruise action movie, but I would have been happier with a lesser known lead and more horror. Be that as it may, there is no escaping that The Mummy's international box office can be largely attributed to Tom Cruise, thus creating a rare box office paradox.

There were plenty of reports that Universal gave Cruise unprecedented control over the film and he brought in his writers in to rework the script giving more time to his character. While this is standard practice for Cruise, I can't help and wonder what sort of version of The Mummy we could have seen without his involvement.

Next up in The Dark Universe is Bride of Frankenstein from Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon. Angelina Jolie is reported to be Universal's top choice, but no official casting announcements have been revealed. Bride of Frankenstein is due for release (rather fittingly) on Valentine's Day 2019.

The ever busy Channing Tatum will be back on our screens next month in Steven Soderberg's first film since he retired from being retired, Logan Lucky. Tatum is also amongst the cast of Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the eagerly awaited sequel arrives in cinemas on September 22.

Ironically, the last time Van Helsing was adapted for a movie it was from The Mummy and The Mummy Returns director Stephen Sommers. Hugh Jackman starred as Van Helsing alongside Kate Beckinsale's unintentionally funny attempt at a Romanian accent.

Written by
Chris Suffield

Head writer at My passion for storytelling has been at the heart of all my work.

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