New 83% Horror Movie Is The Perfect Way To Reboot The Dark Universe 7 Years After Tom Cruise’s Failure

The Dark Universe has the perfect opportunity to be rebooted thanks to a new horror movie that avoids the issues of Tom Cruise’s previous failure.

Universal Pictures has the perfect way to reboot the Dark Universe years after Tom Cruise failed to do so thanks to its new vampire horror movie Abigail. The catalog of iconic horror characters at Universal’s disposal put the studio in a position where it wanted to relaunch its Dark Universe for modern audiences. Tom Cruise’s 2017 movie The Mummy was meant to be the start of a sprawling monster universe that included everyone from the Invisible Man to Frankenstein and Van Helsing. However, these hopes came to an abrupt end after The Mummy’s box office did not match expectations.

With Tom Cruise failing to relaunch the shared universe, the Dark Universe could not move forward, even after the studio infamously brought Cruise, Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, Johnny Depp, and Sofia Boutella together for a photo shoot to promote the cinematic universe. This left Universal in a position where it began reprioritizing individual horror movies involving monsters and supernatural creatures instead of worrying about setting up the Dark Universe. That has now led to Abigail, and the movie about a Dracula-esque vampire’s daughter could now be what gets the Dark Universe up and running again.

Abigail Is A Better Starting Point For A New Dark Universe Than The Mummy

Tom Cruise’s Movie Was Weighed Down By Universe PlottingTom Cruise holding a light in The Mummy

By the time that Abigail’s ending comes to a close, the movie proves how it could be the perfect reset for the Dark Universe. The film primarily focuses on the main story of survival as the people who kidnap Abigail try to avoid becoming her latest victims. With Radio Silence at the helm, Abigail is a thrilling and gory vampire film that introduces great new characters, including a revamped version of Dracula and his daughter. It is through this approach that the movie still manages to plant enough seeds that there is a greater mythology at play in Abigail’s universe.

The difference between Abigail and The Mummy is that the newer vampire flick is able to get audiences invested in this world and characters and leaves them wanting more. The Mummy was not able to do that. The film was weighed down by expectations that it would set up the Dark Universe. This meant including several moments that felt like they were only included to set up a larger franchise, like Russell Crowe’s Dr. Henry Jekyll appearing. That distracted from the main story The Mummy was telling, leaving audiences without strong connections to Tom Cruise’s character.

Abigail’s smaller focus and expectations gave it a major advantage over The Mummy. Abigail could work as a standalone vampire movie and still be a satisfying adventure without Joey and Abigail’s story continuing. However, The Mummy was much too focused on being big enough and successful enough that the Dark Universe plans could come to fruition. The end result was The Mummy being maligned by critics and performing moderately at the box office, while Abigail’s Rotten Tomatoes score is incredibly high and word of mouth is strong.

Abigail’s Horror Approach Would Be Great For The Dark Universe

The Dark Universe Can Be Scary Again

Abigail dances with vampire teeth showing in Abigail movie still-1

One of the biggest benefits to Abigail launching the Dark Universe would be how it utilizes the horror genre. The film fully leans into the amount of scares and blood that should be in a vampire movie. The Radio Silence team are no strangers to reinventing horror franchises for modern audiences after their work on Scream, and they have done it again with Abigail. It might seem obvious that a vampire movie should embrace the horror genre, but that is not what the Dark Universe did before.

Even before The Mummy really tried to launch the Dark Universe, Universal’s 2014 movie Dracula Untold attempted the same. The vampire movie had some tinges of horror, but the PG-13 movie leaned more into action when it could. The Mummy went a step further with that approach by utilizing Tom Cruise’s greatest strengths to make the film a major action blockbuster, one that just happened to include supernatural creatures. Although none of the other canceled Dark Universe movies were made, it seems that Universal wanted PG-13 movies that skewed more action than horror to be made.

Abigail establishes the precedent for R-rated, full-horror entries in a potential new Dark Universe. After seeing how well it worked with vampires, Universal could apply the same approach to other characters. The studio already did so with Invisible Man in 2020, and the upcoming The Wolf Man reimagining could do the same. It would make sense for any other potential additions to a new Dark Universe would follow Radio Silence’s lead with Abigail and give the iconic horror creatures the genre treatment they deserve.

Abigail’s Shared Universe Teases Set Up How The Dark Universe Can Be Reborn

Other Universal Monsters Could Exist In Abigail’s Universe

Joey pink swears Abigail in the horror film Abigail

There is already some groundwork for how Abigail could relaunch the Dark Universe thanks to the world it sets up. Abigail’s father is designed as a stand-in for Dracula, and the movie includes enough teases that he is the proper version of the legendary vampire for Matthew Goode’s character to take on that role in future installments. There are no other Universal Monsters who definitively or subtly are suggested to exist in Abigail‘s universe. But, the movie does tease that Abigail and Ready or Not exist in the same universe, which could be key to a new Dark Universe beginning.

Abigail‘s Ready or Not Easter egg is notable beyond the Radio Silence connection because it means that demons also exist in this world. The fact that demons and vampires are now confirmed to occupy the same franchise is a great way for Universal to get the Dark Universe off the ground. It now becomes easier to accept that other supernatural beings and characters exist in this world beyond vampires. This could be how Wolfman, Frankenstein, The Mummy, Invisible Man, and other classic Universal Monster characters are seamlessly introduced.

Will Universal Move Forward With Abigail’s New Dark Universe?

Abigail Was Not Intended To Launch A Shared Universe

Abigail with fang-like teeth and her mouth stained with blood in Abigail Image via Universal Pictures

Just because Abigail could be the start of a new Dark Universe doesn’t mean that it will. The fate of the potential new horror franchise is undecided. Universal has not confirmed any plans for Abigail 2 to be made, nor that the film will directly connect to any other upcoming horror movies. The studio has learned from The Mummy and the previous attempt to launch the Dark Universe. Instead of announcing an entire slate of interconnected horror movies, Abigail is currently just another standalone movie. Abigail, her Dracula-inspired father, and Joey are all left with uncertain futures as a result.

If a new Dark Universe does start, Abigail‘s box office is likely the key. The movie was made on a budget of $28 million, meaning it needs to make nearly $60 million at the box office to break even for Universal. It would only be at that point that the studio would probably consider continuing the franchise, let alone expanding it into a Dark Universe reboot. Considering Abigail has not even made its budget back at the box office worldwide, it is far from guaranteed that audiences will get a chance to return to this universe and watch it grow.

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