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The reaction to last month’s unveiling of Universal’s Dark Universe plans was underwhelming, to say the least — and now poor reviews for The Mummy are lending fuel to the fire that perhaps a shared universe of monsters isn’t such a great idea.
That line of thinking is understandable. Hollywood has caught shared universe fever, with everything from Transformers to King Kong and Godzilla getting their own. But even after a misfire like The Mummy, Dark Universe still has serious potential to not only be good, but great.
To understand why, first you have to look back to the origins of the universe.
In 1923, with Wallace Worsley’s silent film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the original Universal Monsters universe was born. The film was utterly revolutionary. Reports are that it cost upwards of $1 million, a budget unheard of at the time. That was followed in 1925 by one of the most iconic films of the silent era, The Phantom of the Opera, which featured a shocking reveal of the Phantom’s face — without his mask — an image that instantly became engrained in cinema history. (See below.)
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