Despite ‘The Mummy’, starring Tom Cruise, failing at the domestic box office, Universal is moving forward with their shared Dark Universe, with Bill Condon‘s ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’ due to begin filming in just a few months for a 2019 release. Condon helmed the top grossing film of this year, Disney’s ‘Beauty & The Beast’ but it’s another of his works that may make him perfect for ‘The Bride’— ‘Gods and Monsters’ for which he won an Academy Award for the screenplay. That film chronicled the creation of the original 1935 ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ starring Elsa Lanchester and directed by James Whale. That film may influence Condon’s approach.
As Condon recently stated:
“We start on February 1st, 2018 so it’s the early days but just to be here in London, starting to see locations and to talk about sets that we’re building, it’s very exciting. For me, the James Whale movie is really right there in the pantheon for me. As you know, the Bride is a character who appears in the last five minutes and then is destroyed so it’s a way to almost continue the movie that you imagine the movie he might have made the third Frankenstein movie but in 2018.”
It sounds as though Condon’s ‘Bride’ won’t recreate the 1935 film, but rather use it as a foundation upon which to build a new story. It still seems a bit odd that they are making this movie without first making a new ‘Frankenstein’, but presumably, that will make more sense as the film gets closer to production and more info is released.
While ‘Beauty & The Beast’is the year’s top-earner so far, it was rivaled by this summer’s juggernaut ‘Wonder Woman’. Like ‘Bride’, ‘Wonder Woman’ was part of a shared universe, but its director, Patty Jenkins was given the freedom to make the film she wanted to make with only a slight nod to the larger DC Extended Universe. It sounds as though Universal is giving Condon similar creative control.
“I will tell you this — what I’m doing is 100% making a really good monster movie. It has nothing to do with anything else. Nothing. Zero.”
Russell Crowe popped up in ‘The Mummy’ as Doctor Jekyll in a universe-building move to set up his subsequent ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ movie. After the film bombed domestically, it doesn’t look like either Cruise nor Crowe proved to be much of a draw. So hopefully this means that whoever stars in ‘Bride’ will get to shine without a stunt cameo being shoehorned in.
“Not yet, no. Nothing is set yet. I think pretty soon but I think we’re trying to figure that out now but obviously, pretty soon we’re going to have to start really honing in on it. I’m not trying to be coy but I really shouldn’t say.”
But one clue may be that Jolie is set to begin filming ‘Maleficent 2’ around the same time as Condon plans to shoot ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’ so that probably takes her out of the running.
What do you think? Are you intrigued to see Condon’s vision for ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’? Do you think this femme fatale can rescue the Dark Universe the way ‘Wonder Woman’ rescued the DCEU? And who do you think should play the titular ‘Bride’?