While the original movie was initially earmarked to launch Universal’s Dark Universe it looks like Dracula Untold 2 may not happen after all.
Will Luke Evans return for a second bite in Dracula Untold 2 and what is the future of the Dark Universe? Dracula Untold started life as a project dubbed Dracula: Year Zero, which told the origin story of the title monster. Alex Proyas was set to direct while Sam Worthington (Avatar) would play the lead, but Universal canceled the project over budget issues. After it was retooled, Gary Shore came on as director while Luke Evans signed up as Dracula.
Following the success of the MCU, developing potential shared cinematic universes was becoming a bigger concern for studios. Universal announced a plan for a cinematic universe featuring classic monsters like Frankenstein’s Monster and the Invisible Man. To that end, producers decided to rework Dracula Untold so it could be tied into this new universe. New scenes were filmed with Charles Dance’s Master Vampire, who was being set up as a connecting character like Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. Charlie Cox (Daredevil) originally played this role, but his scenes were cut when it was decided to make the character much older.
While Dracula Untold was a success and Luke Evans received solid reviews, there has been little sign of a sequel since. Here’s what we know about Dracula Untold 2 and its Dark Universe connections.
The Mummy Replaced Dracula Untold As The “First” Dark Universe Film
Dracula Untold’s status as the start of the Dark Universe always felt tenuous, with the film being retooled at the last minute and the studio still unsure of its plans. When Alex Kurtzman came onboard to direct Tom Cruise in The Mummy, it was decided to ignore Dracula Untold and make The Mummy the start of the freshly dubbed Dark Universe. This would have given the filmmakers free rein to reinvent Dracula again, but the mostly negative reviews and lukewarm box-office of The Mummy immediately put plans for the Dark Universe in danger. A Bride Of Frankenstein movie set to star Angelina Jolie and Javier Bardem was placed on hold and, over the coming months, it seemed the enterprise had been quietly canceled.
Blumhouse Reconfigured The Dark Universe With The Invisible Man
Blumhouse produced a low-budget reboot of The Invisible Man from director Leigh Whannell in 2020, which was a critical and commercial success. One of the major issues critics of The Mummy and the Dark Universe idea had was taking character-driven horror stories and turning them into flashy action movies, so Whannell’s film was a return to the character’s horror roots. Whannell’s Invisible Man starred Elisabeth Moss as a woman tormented by her supposedly dead scientist ex-boyfriend, who’d discovered a way to make himself invisible. Universal and Blumhouse are also prepping a Frankenstein reboot, an Invisible Woman movie, a mysterious crossover movie called Dark Army, and a standalone film about Dracula’s henchman Renfield. It seems plans for an interconnected monster universe have been abandoned though, with each film being its own separate entity.
Will Dracula Untold 2 Ever Happen?
Dracula Untold 2 got lost in the shuffles of Universal’s ever-changing plans, but it feels like the project received a stake through the heart once the studio decided The Mummy was the first movie of the Dark Universe. The original ended with a clear setup for a sequel, but since Dracula Untold was only a modest success and its rejected connection to the now failed Dark Universe are part of its legacy, Dracula Untold 2 is very unlikely. Luke Evans has stated he’d be open to returning but little has been heard about the sequel since 2014, and every year that goes by makes a sequel less likely.
In 2021, things began to look even direr for a potential Dracula Untold 2, as Universal announced plans to have Eternals helmer Chloe Zhao direct a sci-fi western take on Dracula, while also continuing development on a more straightforward adaptation of Bram Stoker’s iconic novel that will be directed by Karyn Kusama and produced by Blumhouse. That latter project was announced in 2020, and with Universal backing two new Dracula projects, in addition to the aforementioned Renfield spinoff about Dracula’s servant, Dracula Untold 2 seems even more dead than it did before.
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