Despite the box-office success of 2014’s “Dracula Untold”, the Luke Evans led film looks increasingly unlikely that it will be included in the developing Monsters Universe of movies. Yet there are reasons to believe otherwise.
UPDATE: According to Alex Kurtzman, Dracula Untold will not be a part of the upcoming Monsters Universe of films. Kurtzman’s The Mummy will be the first chapter in Universal’s Monsters Universe of films based on their classic monsters. Speaking with Collider, Alex Kurtzman said “No” after being asked “Dracula Untold. Canon or not?”
We understand the disappointment for many of you Luke Evans fans. Unfortunately, Luke Evans will not be returning as Dracula, but nothing will ever take away 2014’s Dracula Untold, which will always have a place in the Dracula on film history.
Dracula Untold opened on October 10, 2014 and despite grossing $217.1 million on a $70 million budget, the film did not generate a Marvel or DC sized fervor for a “Monsters Universe” in the way 2008’s Iron Man did or arguably 2013’s Man of Steel. Two years after its release, there would still be no concrete evidence or confirmation that Luke Evans would return as Dracula in an upcoming Monsters Universe movie or receive a sequel to the Gary Shore directed picture. With production moving forward on Universal’s upcoming relaunch of their classic monsters properties and 2017’s The Mummy soon wrapping, it may be time to bid farewell to the hopes of seeing Luke Evans return in a Dracula Untold sequel. But, that’s alright as all is not lost.
It was five months ago when I first saw Dracula Untold and it was for no other reason than simply never getting around to watching it. I wanted to see it after seeing the first trailer that began with the black and white Universal logo, the narration that told audiences that the world needed not a hero, but “a monster”, and a haunting Tears for Fears cover by Lorde. You could view the trailer below:
As a fan of Dracula and Tod Browning‘s original 1931 classic being my favorite of the Universal Monsters movies, the idea of a shared universe and beginning it with The Count only seemed right. Who better to start a new universe of horror with other than Dracula? He is the godfather of sorts to all monsters in just the same way that Superman is to all super heroes.
There are two potential outlooks on Luke Evans and Dracula Untold being connected to the Monsters Universe and this is based on what we were able to learn.
Dracula Untold is not a “Monsters Universe” film.
According to a Universal rep, the Gary Shore action/adventure will not fit into Alex Kurtzman’s monsters universe and based on the previous announcements we’ve learned this year in regards to Universal Monsters movies being scheduled, press releases for The Mummy, and recent casting announcements, this series will indeed be moving forward with The Mummy as its first film. This would go on to explain why the casting of Sofia Boutella, Johnny Depp, and Russell Crowe have not included Luke Evans in the mix.
If you were to ask me, Dracula Untold by no means feels uneven as a movie; it just feels a bit underwhelming and a tad unfulfilled in its quest to reinvent Dracula as the film is remarkably short and breezy. If anything, Dracula Untold feels more like a prologue/prequel and extended set up of sorts for the much grander Universal Monsters Universe.
Here’s where we get to the more positive outlook:
Dracula Untold is a “Monsters Universe” film.
The film concludes with an ending re-shot to “potentially” tie into the shared Universal Monsters Universe films. The Hollywood Reporter informed fans that Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, the architects of the UMU films, were brought on board to consult with Dracula Untold, particularly the ending, in order to see that the film “could” fit into the coming films, since Untold was shot in 2013 – sometime before plans for the UMU became concrete.
I was really excited to be part of that. When we started out we weren’t [part of the Monsters Universe], but then we found out that they were going to do it. Working with Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan who are very much a part of creating The Mummy and the other ones…it’s been fun to be a part of that. – Alissa Phillips, producer on Dracula Untold
With the modern day conclusion of Dracula Untold, it’d be great seeing Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, and Charles Dance re-appear in a later film, possibly even The Mummy. While I doubt that would happen, it would serve wise to use Evans in a future installment to remind audiences that his Dracula is connected to the rest of the Universal Monsters Universe films. Based on the Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan devised ending of Dracula Untold, if they were not to be included, it would seem awfully like a missed opportunity.
But a missed opportunity this is looking to be as it looks as if during production on The Mummy, plans of potentially using Evans have changed.
Let’s take into consideration that by the time The Mummy releases in 2017, it will have been three years since the 2014 release of Dracula Untold. That marks the same time difference between 2013’s Man of Steel and this year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. And BvS is seen more as the proper “bigger splash” to open the DC Films as opposed to MoS. It’s also worth noting the similar situation Marvel had with Universal’s 2008 movie The Incredible Hulk. This would ultimately be a movie that while seen as a part of the MCU, it’s normally overlooked as a valid entry in the ongoing saga.
As Dracula Untold stars Luke Evans and the Monsters Universe is being overseen by Chris Morgan, there’s the belief that Morgan could rally for Evans to return as they have worked together in Fast & Furious 6. It would make sense considering the rumors of Dwayne Johnson potentially joining the upcoming The Wolf Man film as he too is a part of the Fast and Furious series (which is also Universal).
As we grow closer to The Mummy and we learn more about this growing universe, it may be time to say goodbye to Luke Evans as Dracula. But that’s alright. Dracula Untold is a fine installment in the Dracula series and just like Frank Langella and even Christian Camargo in Penny Dreadful, Evans more than left his mark on the role.
I wish I had a more definite and conclusive answer, along with one to give to all of the Luke Evans’ Dracula fans out there. Universal Monsters Universe looks forward to the day we get to present news regarding this uncertain situation within the Monsters Universe. But until that day, I hope this helps for now.
(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)