Once upon a time Universal and Legendary Pictures toyed with the idea of teaming up Dracula with Van He lsing in a Dracula Untold sequel. Unfortunately it was canceled. But why Throughout the history of cinema there have been periods when a certain sub genre of films completely dominates the box office. Were experiencing it at the moment with the constant barrage of superhero movies but lets not forget how massively popular the action flicks were in the 80 s or even better how much of a cultural revolution monster movies were during the 50 s.
Cinematic landmarks like the works of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff have become icons of the film medium – which might be why from time to time there been a push to resurrect the classic style of creature features that haunted the nightmares of our grandparents.That was the core idea behind Universals now defunct Dark Universe an answer to the extremely popular Marvel Cinematic Universe with classic monsters instead of superheroes. On paper it sounded like a great idea but fans thought otherwise and even the first film in the series failed to live up to Universals ambitions.
Dracula Untold presented audiences with a much more relatable version of the classic blood drinking Count. In an effort to redeem him this Dracula had a tragic story that turned him into one of the Dark Universes many planned horror antiheroes. Despite the early failure of the Dark Universe Universal already had plans for a Dracula Untold sequel one that would take the immortal character to the modern era and form an uneasy alliance with one of his most famously sworn enemies Abraham Van Helsing.
Granted this would not have been the same version of Van Helsing immortalized by Hugh Jackman but rather a new take on the character that would have been much more similar to the one written by Bram Stoker. Still a Van Helsing solo movie was something that had been in the works for the longest time even when Anthony Hopkins was the one that was supposed to star in a 1992s Dracula spinoff.In the nowcancelled Van Helsing solo flick we would have seen a modernday vampire hunter joining forces with the same vampire from Dracula Untold. Their unlikely alliance comes after the duo sets their aims on hunting a Dark Universe version of the reallife serial killer Elizabeth Báthory.
This crossover film would also have reintroduced some elements of the Dark Universe that wed seen in 2017s The Mummy. Van Helsing was supposed to be a member of Prodigium – a secret society of monster hunters that would act as this cinematic universes counterpart to the Avengers.The idea behind this Van Helsing spinoff – which also would have worked as a Dracula Untold 2 of sorts – doesnt sound all that bad. Perhaps if the project wasnt ever associated with Universals Dark Universe in the first place the movie would have had a chance to see the light of day.
As it stands now the cancellation of Universals ambitious cinematic universe also means that almost every film tied to it has been permanently canned. The only movie that was supposed to belong to the cinematic universe and has been retooled to be a standalone film is a new version of Frankensteins Bride starring Scarlett Johansson.Fans of the Dark Universe or at least of the idea behind the franchise might need to find their dose of vampires werewolves and somewhere other creatures of the night else. Fortunately theres never been a period of scarcity when it comes to the world of horror movies – especially since there are so many amazing independent productions out there.