Cast your minds back just 72 hours and filmmaker Bill Condon (Beauty and the Beast) was thrilled to announce that Bride of Frankenstein would start production early next year. In fact, he even threw out a start date of February 1st; surely nothing drastic could change in three days, right? Wrong. In a statement issued to Deadline, Universal announced that they are postponing production as more time is needed to work on the story.
“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.”
The start of The Dark Universe was a decidedly false one at best with The Mummy failing to inspire much hope in Universal’s new franchise. The Tom Cruise-led reboot wound up with a worldwide haul of $407 million on a budget of $125 million (that’s before marketing and other costs FYI), not a total disaster, but The Mummy was a long way from being considered a success.
Universal’s grand plans for a shared cinematic world for its classic monsters sounds like a pretty good idea on paper. Depending on which direction you go in, the results could be League of Extraordinary Gentlemen levels of awful, or Avengers heights of awesome. However, I think the problem The Dark Universe has is that it is trying to hard to be a superhero movie, and it takes more than some moody lighting to be ‘dark’. There was no horror in The Mummy, and at the risk of loosing all credibility (if I have any), Dracula Untold was better than The Mummy, and Universal disowned that from the Dark Universe.
To be fair, Dracula Untold was made before Universal decided to create a shared world for their monsters and it was briefly considered to be retconned into the franchise. After some vague responses from studio executives offered no answers, Dark Universe overlords Chris Morgan and Alex Kurtzman confirmed that Dracula Untold wasn’t in the mix. Whatever happens with Bride of Frankenstein I am hoping that this delay helps get the message across to Hollywood that making movies to release dates without a finished script rarely ends well.