The age of the cin­e­matic uni­verse

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - COVER STORY -

It’ s not enough to have a fran­chise. In the cur­rent cen­tury, stu­dios de­mand en­tire uni­verses. The Mar­vel Cin­ema tic Uni­verse be­gan with Iron Man in 2008 and has now reached Phase Three of some num­ber of phases (Look it up. I couldn’t be both­ered.)

The DC Ex­tended Uni­verse kicked off with Man of Steel, floun­dered badly with Batman V Su­per­man and then picked up with Won­der Woman. With Fan­tas­tic Beast sand Where

to Find Them, Harry Pot­ter swells into( deep breath) J KR owl in g’ s Wizard­ing World. The stu­dios need no longer limit them­selves to one film ev­ery two years or so. Loose ly con­nected movies and TV se­ries can spi­ral off from the main stem and wrap them­selves around any spare lumps of rev­enue. Did you re­ally think Dis­ney would stick to the main Star Wars films? Rogue One and Un­ti­tled Han Solo Film are here to of­fer clar­i­fi­ca­tion.

It is anirony that, of all the big com­pa­nies, Univer­sal Stu­dios has, to date, been short its own, erm, uni­verse. The Fast and the Fu­ri­ous movies have been do­ing very nicely in­deed and, sure enough, spin offs have been planned. But that’ snot quitea cos­mos. Univer­salis, thus, re­turn­ing to the great mon­ster movies they pi­o­neered in the 1930s: Drac­ula, Franken­stein, The Mum my and soon. Those beasts will rise again in the so-called Dark Uni­verse film se­ries. Oh yeah, like that dis­in­ter­ment of

The Wolf man with Benic io del Toro and Drac­ula Un­told with Luke Evans? No, those flops were Univer­sal films, but they are not part of the new Dark Uni­verse. The new uni­verse be­gins again with The

Mummy( above) and – with­out pa us­ing for Franken­stein–leads straight to Bill Con don’ s Bride of Franken­steinin 2019. Crea­ture from the Black La­goon fol­lows later the same year.

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