Until yesterday, Universal’s rebooted monster movie universe didn’t have a name. All it had was the Tom Cruise-led The Mummy, a lot of rumoured stars and a list of unattached release dates.
Now, Universal has set out the next stage of its plans, beginning with a brand: Dark Universe.
Deadline reports that Universal has revealed that the next film on the slate will be Bill Condon’s The Bride Of Frankenstein, which is set for a 14 February 2019 release date. Yes, that’s Valentine’s Day. We see what you did there, Universal. Everything will be connected by Prodigium, the evil-hunting institute run by Russell Crowe’s Dr Henry Jekyll that is introduced in The Mummy.
“Its mission is to track, study and sometimes destroy evil monsters. Prodigium works outside all governments and protects the public from knowledge of the evil that exists in society.”
As the picture above shows, Javier Bardem is definitely attached and will be playing Frankenstein’s Creature. It’s a shame that the Bride has yet to be cast (the Deadline report promises “soon”) but the rest of the photo shows Crowe as Dr Henry Jekyll, Tom Cruise as “soldier of fortune” Nick Morton, Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man and Sofia Boutella as Princess Ahmanet/The Mummy.
There’s also a logo designed by Weta Digital which accompanied a reel of highlights from the classic movies and new music from Danny Elfman.
David Koepp is writing the script for Bride Of Frankenstein, while Alex Kurtzman (The Mummy) and Chris Morgan (the Fast & Furious franchise) are credited as the series “architects.”
It’s hard to imagine how this will all fit together until we see The Mummy and see just how much groundwork has been laid for a connected universe (a lot, presumably). Bill Condon paid tribute to James Whale’s incomparable Bride Of Frankenstein in his statement, saying:
“I’m very excited to bring a new Bride of Frankenstein to life on screen, particularly since James Whale’s original creation is still so potent. The bride of Frankenstein remains the most iconic female monsters in film history, and that’s a testament to Whale’s masterpiece, which endures as one of the greatest movies ever made.”
Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley said “We take enormous pride in the creativity and passion that has inspired the reimagining of Universal’s iconic monsters and promise audiences we will expand this series strategically. The enterprise masterfully developed by Chris (Morgan) and Alex (Kurtzman) will allow each subsequent chapter the right time to find the perfect cast, filmmakers and vision to fulfill it. As we launch Dark Universe with Danny’s provocative theme before The Mummy and collaborate with a brilliant filmmaker like Bill to weave the story of a very modern woman in a very classic tale, we feel confident we’re off to a tremendous start.”
The Mummy opens in UK Cinemas on Friday 9th June. Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.