Universal’s second installment in the “Dark Universe” gets taken off of 2019 schedule.
Following the critically and financially disappointing start to Universal’s “Dark Universe” with this past summer’s release of The Mummy, Universal has decided to head back to the lab on Bill Condon’s upcoming re-imagining of Bride of Frankenstein. After a dizzying amount of reports that stated the production would start this February, along with the mistaken circulation of an older plot synopsis no longer being used, Universal Monsters Universe has verified and confirmed that production has indeed halted on the second installment in Universal’s “Dark Universe.”
According to Deadline, Universal Pictures “is pressing pause” on Bride of Frankenstein. Along with their report, we could confirm that while pre-production was underway, with an eye towards a February 2018 start date, those involved have been told that production has now been suspended for the time being. Along with a report by Variety, Universal has also removed Bride of Frankenstein from its schedule so the film will no longer see a February 14, 2019 theatrical release.
While this is very disappointing news to report, especially as we at UMU were excited to begin chronicling the production of the next “Dark Universe” film, there are a few silver linings that can be found in the news announced today. Director Bill Condon and screenwriter David Koepp are happy with the script and it’s said to be “in good shape.” However, following the release of The Mummy and understanding the weight that is now on the Bride’s shoulders, following The Mummy, both creators have cited their desire to have more time to develop the screenplay so as they can see that both of their visions are fully realized in a way that satisfies the true Universal Monsters and original Bride of Frankenstein fans.
Universal Pictures released a statement today regarding the situation and that could be read below:
“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.”
Now while crew have been told to go home, you may be wondering about that the status is regarding the cast. While Javier Bardem has been the only one cast (he’s playing Frankenstein’s Monster), we still don’t have full word on who will be bringing to life the iconic monster made famous by Elsa Lanchester. Angelina Jolie has been the predominant name attached, but this summer it was revealed that Universal was considering Charlize Theron ahead of her Atomic Blonde release, and just today it was learned that Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) is another potential front runner.
Here’s what UMU has learned and can confirm – Javier Bardem will play Frankenstein’s Monster. He’s committed to the role and the project. Angelina Jolie is still very much the front runner for the role of the Bride. While production has been delayed, this will very well be another silver lining for those wanting Jolie for the role. The uber talented actress and film maker recently announced that she will return to acting in the sequel to Maleficent. Her time on this project would have kept her from Bride of Frankenstein should it have kept the original February 2019 release. Now, with Bride of Frankenstein being taken off of the schedule and allowing the creative team to develop as best a movie as they can, this will allow Angelina Jolie to actively consider still taking part in the Universal Monsters film. If you ask me what my thoughts are, I’ll tell you this – I think you’ll be hard pressed to find someone better suited for the Universal Monster role than Angelina Jolie!
Stay tuned for more on Bill Condon’s “Bride of Frankenstein” this week!
(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)