Universal Reportedly Wants Channing Tatum for ‘Van Helsing’ Dark Universe Reboot
Universal’s recent attempt to launch a “Dark Universe” of monster movies with The Mummy didn’t exactly go as planned. The action-horror flick starring Tom Cruise is just the first of several reboots the studio has in development, and though it grossed $390 million worldwide, it earned a fairly disappointing $79 million stateside — hardly enough to merit the creation of an entire franchise, but Universal is determined to move ahead with their plans all the same. Those plans now reportedly include trying to land Channing Tatum for the lead role in a reboot of Van Helsing.
THR has some updates on the status of several major franchises, and while a few are merely speculative (Fox “may have to reassess” Ridley Scott’s Alien sequels post-Covenant), others are more enlightening — most notably the update on Universal’s Dark Universe. Even though The Mummy underperformed at the box office, the studio remains committed to exploring this new world of gods and monsters, which includes Bride of Frankenstein (for which they’re still hoping to land Angelina Jolie), Frankenstein (with Javier Bardem) and The Invisible Man (with Johnny Depp).
Universal is also plotting a new take on Van Helsing, co-written by Arrival scribe Eric Heisserer. According to THR, the studio wants Channing Tatum to play the vampire-hunting hero. Little else is known about the project, which is Universal’s second attempt at reimagining the character first introduced in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Hugh Jackman previously played a younger, action hero-type iteration of the literary doctor in 2004’s atrocious Van Helsing.
The studio’s new Van Helsing project does not currently have a director, and the exact story angle is unknown. Heisserer told Collider earlier this year that his script featured a version of the character who’s more of an “everyday hero” type, but that idea could change once Universal finds a director.