It feels like decades since 2017 when Universal Pictures announced its plans for a shared cinematic universe, boringly called the Dark Universe, that was going to be some kind of Avengers of classic movie monsters. It would have featured Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe rebooting The Mummy -- which did happen, though no one would blame you for forgetting -- as well as Javier Bardem as Frankenstein's monster and Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man. After The Mummy bombed, they started to rethink the whole thing, and god, was it good that they did. The Invisible Man was so much better as a gaslighting creep than whatever superhero shit they had planned. It's a tricky line that creatives in the horror business have to walk, trying to make quality art out of inherently ludicrous ideas without veering into pretentious, you know, Johnny Depp territory. The Invisible Man that we got was just ridiculous enough to take seriously.
That can be credited mainly to the involvement of Blumhouse Productions, who are indeed experts in quality camp. When Universal handed them Dracula, they turned around and handed it to Karyn Kusama, which might have been the best thing they could have done. Some of her best-known works are Aeon Flux and Jennifer's Body, but she started out with the acclaimed indie darling Girlfight, so that's a good sign for both ridiculousness and competence. It already sounds amazing: She announced recently that the film would stick pretty closely to Bram Stoker's novel, and her Dracula wouldn't be "the same kind of romantic hero we've seen in the past." Hopefully, that means he'll be an awkward loser with bad breath and even worse fashion sense. The world is ready for an incel Dracula whose brides are waifu pillows.
On the other hand, you know what else the world is ready for? Sexy werewolves. They tried to make it happen in the Twilight series, but outside of certain subreddits, it's just hard to make a dog sexy -- unless it's played by, like, Ryan Gosling or something. Well, hold onto your normal boners, everyone, because Ryan Gosling will be playing the Wolfman in Blumhouse's series. You might notice that Wolfman wasn't originally included in the Dark Universe, and that's because Gosling pitched the movie himself. He's just that into playing a hot dog monster. The script is being written by a couple of Orange Is The New Black veterans, so you know they're going to do everything in their power to get Gosling shirtless and howling and therefore everyone in the audience pregnant. The world is a dangerous and uncertain place right now, but at least we can look forward to that.
Top image: Universal Pictures, Elen Nivrae/Wikimedia Commons