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Meet Universal’s Monsters

When you think of a shared cinematic universe these days, you think of Marvel. Their vaunted Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), is an interconnected, multi-phase slate of films that began with 2008's Iron Man and has carried on through 13 films, most of them massively successful, with Spider-Man: Homecoming continuing their world-beating run this July 7. Yet is Marvel really the first studio to create a cinematic universe?

Universal Pictures says no. In their recently announced Dark Universe, the studio finally gave a proper name to their upcoming slate of interconnected films that is tapping into their incredibly rich cannon of monsters and gods. Beginning with The Mummy and carrying on through films about The Invisible Man, Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula, the Wolf Man and more, this new video helps make the case that Universal's monsters were the first cinematic universe. And like their Marvel counterparts, Universal's monsters are complex beings, often beginning their lives as normal men and women but ending up, through twists of fate and quirks of personality, as the creatures we have known and love. 

The featured image shows off the stars Universal has already enlisted into their Dark Universe: The Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s Monster will be played by, respectively, Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem (co-stars in the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales), joining The Mummy’s Tom Cruise, who plays soldier of fortune Nick Morton, Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll (a key character who will likely connect many of these films), and Sofia Boutella, who plays Princess Ahmanet, the titular mummy. As Crowe's Jekyll says, raising a toast, Universal is introducing us to "to a new world…of gods and monsters."

The Mummy rises in theaters on June 9.

Featured image: Dark Universe" stars (L to R) RUSSELL CROWE, JAVIER BARDEM, TOM CRUISE, JOHNNY DEPP and SOFIA BOUTELLA. Photo credit: Marco Grob / Universal Pictures

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