Headscratchers / Dark Universe

  • How is this even a thing? The so-called "Universal Monsters" are either public domain characters (Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, the Invisible Man, the Phantom of the Opera and Quasimodo) or based on concepts that are in the public domain (the Wolf Man and the Mummy). The ONLY character that Universal has a legitimate claim is the Creature From the Black Lagoon, and considering the sheer amount of non-Universal media where the Creature shows up (Monster Squad, Mad Monster Party, Hotel Transylvania, Monsters vs. Aliens, The Shape of Water), Universal sucks at enforcing the copyright to the Creature. Thus, you really can't make a Marvel Studios-style, "only we own these characters and they'll only show up in our movies" cinematic universe out of the "Universal Monsters".
    • One correction beyond anything else, while The Invisible Man book is in the public domain, his film rights aren't. You can make an invisible man or a parody of the invisible man, but Universal has full rights to sue you if you just make a movie that explicitly says he's Griffin, the Invisible Man. This is a reason why the first The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film had a thief steal the formula instead of using Griffin while the original comic can use him legally clear and dandy.
      • Nope. The non-Universal Hotel Transylvania blatantly identified the Invisible Man as Griffin without any sort of legal repercussion, so even the Invisible Man is outside Universal's reach.
      • Universal claims that, but The Invisible Man is one of those properties caught up in disputes like this. Especially under the argument if the book itself is public domain than the movie rights may become more questioned. Universal can say what it wants, how many lawsuits would actually follow remain seen, and how much other companies want to respect/deny that also remain to be seen. The Invisible Man isn't the only of Wells' books in similar battles.
      • Actually, what happened is that The Invisible Man, while in the public domain in the United States, did not fall into the public domain in the European Union until 2016. Since The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen wanted to be shown in European markets, they had to work around that. It's a moot point now, though, as the EU copyright on all of H.G. Wells's works has expired.
    • Gill Man himself is a tough case to make on its own. He's the Trope Codifier for fish people that many now use as a template, even though Universal's movie didn't exactly invent fish-like humanoids anymore than they made up mummies rising from the dead or werewolves.
    • Now on to the larger point, where if this needs to be said a thousand times let's say it here and front. While super hero fans and horror fans may have share a love of crossovers, a lot who are more to one side probably don't want the same type of movies as the other. The MCU was an experiment that paid off and naturally is producing Follow the Leader results, however let's not mince words here, I don't think many of fans of the Universal Monsters in general want a universe done up like the MCU is, we want new movies with characters we like and enjoy the promise if they keep going they are going to fight. If they overthink it too much, I dare say a lot of the older fans and genre fans are going to check out faster.
    • If Universal wants this franchise to continue I think they need to make it more clear who is this for? Because you really can't please most of the horror crowd making another MCU with monsters and you can't please the more modern action crowd playing it like the genre usually does. (Just look at a few examples that are commonplace in modern horror that are being reacted to negatively on the Mummy page) You would think Universal of all studios would know this. Hopefully the push back for Bride will help them figure out which is the audience they really want.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Headscratchers/DarkUniverse