This Summer, Universal released The Mummy, the first film in their new Dark Universe. Similar to that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe, the Dark Universe would have re-envisioned Universal’s famous classic movie monsters with a modern day twist. The idea sounded promising, especially when it touted a stellar cast like Tom Cruise and Javier Bardem, and it seemed like it had all the makings of a success.
But The Mummy was panned by critics and was a box office bomb, leaving many to question if there was any need to explore a Dark Universe or kick it off with a reboot of a film so soon. So, at least for now, Universal and director Bill Condon have decided to hit the pause button on what was to be the next installment, Bride Of Frankenstein. More on the story below.
Deadline confirmed the halt of production for Bride of Frankenstein, which was slated to begin filming in February 2018, with a planned release date of February 14, 2019. Here’s what the studio told the site in a released statement.
“After thoughtful consideration, Universal Pictures and director Bill Condon have decided to postpone Bride of Frankenstein. None of us want to move too quickly to meet a release date when we know this special movie needs more time to come together. Bill is a director whose enormous talent has been proven time and again, and we all look forward to continuing to work on this film together.”
Bride of Frankenstein would have starred Javier Bardem as Frankenstein, while Angelina Jolie was in talks to play the title role. While Condon, who is coming off the success of the live-action take on Disney’s Beauty and The Beast, is a much more established director than The Mummy‘s Alex Kurtzman, the future of the Dark Universe as a whole comes into question. Films like The Invisible Man starring Johnny Depp, and others like The Creature From The Black Lagoon, Wolfman, and Van Helsing appear to be untouched.
In addition, various other reports are saying Bride of Frankenstein will be getting a new script from David Koepp. So the pre-production team will be heading back home for the time being. So it looks like Universal still wants to have their Dark Universe, but will be going back to the drawing board and writers room for their next installment.
If you are still wondering how these films fit together, don’t worry, The Mummy took care of that in a hurry. In that film, there’s a group called Prodigium that researches and identifies ancient evils. Led by Dr. Jekyll (Russell Crowe), the group has successfully kept these monsters at bay since its founding. When that was is still unclear, but Dr. Jekyll has been with the group for an extended period of time.
Yeah, it was very clunky and easily explained, but it’s an intriguing idea nonetheless. However, there appeared to already be a few holes in that plan even before production stalled.
From what we do know, Bride of Frankenstein would have been a standalone film that fits within the Dark Universe. Based on our interview with Kurtzman, each of the directors would have had their own voice and would not need to worry about having their films interconnect with each other. But who knows if that will be the plan moving forward.