Earlier this week, Universal studios delayed production on Bride of Frankenstein, the second proposed entry in its connected monster movie “Dark Universe.” The moves comes after the critical and commercial failure of Tom Cruise’s The Mummy this summer, which we could’ve told them would happen. With the studio rethinking its strategy, currently attached stars Javier Bardem and Angelina Jolie could leave the project. If that were to happen, director Bill Condon has at least one replacement in mind.
TheWrap reports that Condon has his eye on Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot should Jolie exit Bride of Frankenstein. Then again, the outlet also notes that neither Bardem or Jolie have a set deal in place, though the former was featured in the studio’s announcement of the Dark Universe. Very curious.
The filmmakers have been in a holding pattern while they wait for Jolie to make a decision. As such, Universal has not yet reached out to Gadot, whose schedule is beginning to fill up. Originally, Bride of Frankenstein was set to be released on February 14, 2019. However, Universal backtracked on that plan with its announcement this week.
“This is fairly out of nowhere given how deep they were into prep over there, but not really surprising — their mandate has more or less been that they wanted these to work as PG-rated action movies/theme-park rides, not horror movies,” an insider told TheWrap. “Basically Fast and the Furious meets The Avengers – but with super monsters.”
Another insider added: “You just assume they’d throw out a lot of that thinking after The Mummy‘s Rotten Tomatoes score, but it doesn’t seem like it. Makes you wonder if they’ll ever get those (Universal Monsters) right. Why is it so hard for them?”
For his part, Condon told Collider on Tuesday that he wasn’t concerned with Bride of Frankenstein‘s connection to the Dark Universe.
“I will tell you this — what I’m doing is 100 percent making a really good monster movie. It has nothing to do with anything else. Nothing. Zero.”
Universal was hoping that The Mummy would launch this connected continuity that would also feature Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Johnny Depp as the Invisible Man. The studio just forgot one thing: you need a foundation that people actually like.